How to Teach Young Kids to do Laundry
This post brought to you by Tide® HE Turbo Clean™. The content and opinions expressed below are that of Over the Big Moon.
We’re about a month into summer and I’ve been pretty happy with how our morning routine has been going. We’ve been using Lisa’s Daily 5 Routine that she posted about last year! However, I feel like even with our morning chore time, I am drowning in dirty laundry! Each of my kids are going through like 3-4 outfits a day between play clothes, swim suits and pajamas! I swear every day has felt like laundry day the last month! Last week I decided it was time to introduce my (almost) 7 year old to our washer and dryer! Today, I am going to tell you how to teach your young kids to do laundry!
Aside from the fact that I wanted some help, the other reason I chose the laundry for him to help with is because it has been my biggest battle with my boys! It seemed like I was either finding my boys clothes in their laundry basket (even though they were not always dirty) or just sitting on the ground either in their closet or next to the tub & shower!
Here are the steps I followed when teaching him:
Step 1. Create a child-friendly laundry area. I decided in the beginning to only have him be in charge of doing him and his brothers laundry. I purchased 3 stackable plastic bins for like $3 a piece. They stack in their closet and they collect the laundry in the main top bin. To make the laundry room more child friendly, he’ll grab the step stool out of the kids bathroom (which is just across the hall), so he is able to reach the tops of the washer and dryer easily and reach all the buttons.
Here are the items that are a must:
-A detergent with an easy pour spout or pods like Tide® HE Turbo Clean™
Step 2. Teach them to sort the dirty clothes. The boys collect their laundry in their closet, excluding towels, throughout the week. So, when it’s time to sort clothes, he goes and retrieves the sorting bins from his closet. He takes them into the hallway outside the laundry room and sorts them there. He sorts them into 3 loads: whites, darks, jeans/shorts. He also knows that their church clothes are washed separate. But, they aren’t washed every week, so when he has to clean those, he just sets them aside.
At the time he sorts I have to do the following:
-Check all clothes for any spots or stains that may need pretreatment (especially the jeans and shorts for grass stains).
-Check pockets for any items that may have been left in them.
The first few times that they are sorting, you’ll want to explain why it is necessary to sort the loads (that different colors and types of laundry are washed in different temperature of water).
If your child is going to be doing all types of loads, make sure and cover these other rules:
– Check tags in clothing for any special washing requirements. Such as: dry clean only, wash inside out, etc.
– Managing load size
Step 3. Teach them to use the washing machine. Every washing machine is so different, so you’ll have to customize your instructions based upon your machine. Make sure that they take the time to go through all the settings, buttons and explain how they all work and what they mean!
Talk to them about the best choice of detergent. I’m a Tide® HE Turbo Clean™ fan myself! Tide® HE Turbo Clean™ detergents save time and water using proprietary, quick-dissolving Smart Suds™ technology. Do you feel like your wash loads are taking too much time? It’s most likely the extra SUDS in your clothes that require your HE machines to run additional rinse cycles.
Make sure you educate the kids on how to follow the recommended dosing instructions by matching the detergent amount with the load and soil level! Generally the drum of an HE Machine is 4x larger than a traditional top loader, so naturally your loads are going to contain up to 40% more dirt!
Step 4. Teach them to use the dryer. Start by explaining what all the buttons and knobs are and what they mean and how to turn them. Then show them the lint catcher. Explain that this should be cleaned with each load.
Step 5. Teach them how you’d like them to fold the clothes. In our home, we remove approx 1/3 of the load at a time and fold it on the master bed. While we are folding the first part of the load, we turn the remaining clothes on the “fluff” cycle. Then we remove the remaining laundry in stages and fold it.
Take the time to show them how to fold all the items. Here are some key points:
– How to turn socks, shirts, etc right side out.
– Pair socks
– Lay t-shirts out, so they won’t wrinkle.
– Pair pajamas
– Folding shorts & pants
Step 6. Show them how to put the clothes away properly. I instruct my kids only to take one pile at a time, otherwise items end up being put away sloppy!
And, that’s it! Don’t under estimate your little ones! I have been so impressed with my son! He’s loved having more responsibility and he is now a laundry pro! It’s so nice to have him be able to do at least some of the laundry in our house! Plus, he’s always great to include his 5 year old brother! I’m sure by the time he’s 7, he’ll be a pro too!
Now ready for a laugh? I love this video – I seriously want to cheer with them! Be like these moms take back control of your laundry by trying Tide® HE Turbo Clean™ and save yourself up to 25 minutes cycle time!
Disclosure: If you use laundry pacs or pods, note that children should never handle on their own. Keep these in a space where they are not easily accessible. And lastly, children should always be supervised when dealing with chemicals.