How Young Children can Help with the Laundry

by Melanie Edwards on March 1, 2010 · 7 comments

in preschoolers,toddlers,Wahm

Early last month, I posed the question, “Can Preschoolers Help Clean?” and provided a list of chores for preschoolers to do around the house. Many of you agreed that yes, preschoolers can indeed help clean around the house and even provided a few additional suggestions based on what your kids help with.

One of the original suggestions I had listed was to have your young child help with folding clothes. As I thought about it more, I realized that my daughter actually helps with pretty much all aspects of doing the laundry. If we involve her, she can be of help from beginning to end when it’s laundry day. In case you hadn’t thought about it, let me share the ways your young children can be of more help with this task.

Kid and Laundry Basket

Photo by FL4Y from Flickr

How your Toddler or Preschooler can Help with the Laundry

  • Sort clothes – Your child can easily take the clothes out of the hamper and help you properly create the necessary piles. On our laundry day, what we do is start a few piles on our floor, tell her what each pile is for (most are recognizable by color), and have her sort her own clothes.
  • Load washer – We put her step stool in front of the washing machine, bring a pile over, and have her help throw the clothes into the washer. It’s so simple, but she loves doing it.
  • Load dryer – Similarly, when it’s time to change out the loads, she stands next to the dryer and pushes in the clothes as one of us takes them out of the washing machine. Sometimes, she takes the dryer sheet and throws it in too before we start up the dryer.
    • Once the clothes are dry, she also helps us take them out of the dryer and throw them on the couch.
  • Fold clothes – Though the clothes may not end up folded perfectly, your preschooler can help fold his/her clothes or even some towels. Their clothes are small, so they’re perfect for little hands to fold. They may be able to hep fold other clothes, depending on the size, but generally, their own clothes work best.
  • Hang up clothes – Grab a stack of hangers, and lay out a few shirts on the couch. Your preschooler can easily slide a hanger into each shirt, and make a new pile of ready to hang clothes. This also works best with their own clothes and the smaller hangers.

Now that you know how your preschooler can help out with the laundry, let’s think about why this is actually a good thing for not only them, but you as well.

Kids Folding Clothes

Photo by Anna Maria Horner from Flickr

Why Helping with the Laundry is Good for your Preschooler

I’m sure there are many more reasons why helping with the laundry is beneficial to young children, but here is a short list of the benefits I’ve seen:

  • Color recognition
  • Recognizing patterns
  • Categorization
  • Coordination
  • Feeling helpful
  • Teamwork
  • Teaches responsibility and pride in taking care of what we own
Hanging Clothes on Laundry Line

Photo by Ruth from Flickr

How Letting your Preschooler Help with the Laundry Helps You

Getting some help with the housework is always a good thing, right? But, particularly if you work from home or are striving to create more work-life balance in your days, then involving your young children in daily chores will help. You may think that if you just do the chores yourself, you’ll be able to get them done faster. However, how often do you find yourself interrupted when doing one task because your son or daughter wants some type of attention? Do you really get it done very fast?

Keeping them involved will allow you to have conversations with your kids while getting things done. It lessens the feeling of stress because you’re spending time with them while doing housework. They will feel like a “big helper” and you may find that it helps the overall mood in the house.

Do your kids currently help with the laundry? Do you feel it’s a learning experience for them?

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Slim Healhty Diva March 1, 2010 at 3:36 pm

Great tips! My four year old daughter loves to hang Daddy's shirts and sort everyone's socks.

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2 modernmami March 2, 2010 at 8:55 pm

It's wonderful to see them take such interest, isn't it? I myself, hate folding and hanging up the laundry, but hey, it's good for her to love it…for now. ;)

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3 Gina LaGuardia March 3, 2010 at 10:10 am

One of the most interesting things I learned as a Sunday School teacher is that when you give a child a job, everything else fades away (loneliness, anxiety, etc.). It's pretty amazing, actually! On that note, I'm definitely going to try some “laundry fun” with my almost-3-year-old the next time the grumpies set in. ;) Thanks!

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4 modernmami March 10, 2010 at 12:29 pm

I think like everyone, young children want to feel useful. So helping is a great way to get them to feel important and that they're contributing to the household. Now…how did it go with your 3 yo? ;)

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5 modernmami March 10, 2010 at 6:29 pm

I think like everyone, young children want to feel useful. So helping is a great way to get them to feel important and that they’re contributing to the household. Now…how did it go with your 3 yo? ;)

Reply

6 modernmami March 10, 2010 at 1:29 pm

I think like everyone, young children want to feel useful. So helping is a great way to get them to feel important and that they're contributing to the household. Now…how did it go with your 3 yo? ;)

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