How to Get Your Children Involved with Doing the Laundry

Domestic chores can be difficult and time-consuming, especially when you are doing them all on your own. However, this doesn’t have to be the case when you can get the rest of your family involved—even the youngest members of your household. One of the tasks you can let your children help with is doing the laundry.

Apart from lessening your work, getting your kids involved with the chore can teach them to be more responsible and independent. If you are hesitant to let your kids help you do the laundry because it is easier to handle it on your own without constantly giving instructions, remember that you will actually be imparting a valuable life skill to your children if you opt to involve them. Whether you are teaching them to properly hand wash delicate clothing or operate a high-end washing machine, your children will be able to perform this important domestic chore much more effortlessly in the future if you help them do it properly today. 

If you are uncertain about involving your children in a task like doing the laundry or you’re not sure to what extent they can assist you, here are some ways you can get started.

Start Them Young

Many parents often ask the question: “how soon can my kids start doing laundry?” The answer is you can get them involved as early as when they are two years of age. During your kids’ toddler years, you can already assign them tasks that don’t even require going to the laundry room. Begin by showing them that dirty and used clothing goes to the hamper while their clean clothes are placed in drawers or hung in the closet.

You can also leverage what they are currently learning and integrate it into the chore. For example, if they are just starting to appreciate colors, you can tell them to help you separate the white and the colored garments. This won’t introduce them to the actual task of doing the laundry just yet, but it can help you with the sorting process. 

Ease Them Slowly into Doing the Task

Once your children have started kindergarten, you can start introducing them to folding and putting the clean laundry away—creating a progression in their assigned tasks. Although they still shouldn’t operate the machine yet, kids between four to eight  years of age can help with other tasks like organizing clothes. You can ask them to identify their own clothes and to put them in one pile. 

Once they’ve reached the age of nine, your children can begin helping you load the dirty clothes into the machine. This is easier if you have a front-load washer, but if you have a top-loader, you can open the lid for them and assist them by having them stand on a stool if they aren’t tall enough. During this time, you can also begin showing them which buttons to press to start and stop the machine. 

Teach Them about Safe Use of Laundry Chemicals and Equipment

In addition, you can use this opportunity to educate them about the safe and proper use of laundry detergents and bleach. Teach them these items are not safe for them to consume or to use for personal hygiene. f Remind your kids that they can’t go to the laundry room alone and that it is not a play area. Keep the lid or doors of the washing machine and dryer closed at all times. 

Make It Fun

The best way to keep your children engaged is by making the chore fun for them through games. You can have a matching game and ask them to pair up socks, for example. Before you head to the laundry area, you can also play a game of “basketball” to help them learn about sorting clothes. Turn the laundry baskets into basketball hoops and your dirty laundry can serve as basketballs. Designate one basket for light and dark-colored clothes. Tape one, two, and three-point lines on the floor and take turns shooting the clothes in the correct basket. At the end of the game, you can tally up the scores of who has the most points as soon as all clothes are sorted.

Another idea to make laundry fun is by sending them on a hunt to check the pockets of your clothes before washing them. This is valuable in terms of preserving both your clothes and your washer or dryer since random hard objects can damage fabric and machine parts if they aren’t removed from pockets before laundry. It’ll certainly save you the trouble of buying a new unit from an appliances store.

You can also hold a folding race between your kids or see who is the fastest to put their clean clothes away. However, at times, your kids might not remember where their clothes should go. This is especially true when it comes to younger kids aged three to five years. To help them, you can tape pictures or illustrations of socks, underwear, pants, and other types of clothing onto their closet compartments or drawers as visual reminders.

Guide Them through the Process

As your children reach the age of twelve and after seeing you do the laundry many times over, they’d have gained a general idea of how the entire process goes. This is a good time to show them how to properly use the washing machine and the different settings to choose for certain clothing types or applications. Just supervise them with the amount of detergent to use the first time they’re doing the laundry by themselves, then you can let them handle the rest.

Although your kids may be older, they might still forget some of the details of the task. It can be helpful to have a cheat sheet or a guide explaining the controls of the washing machine and the next steps. You can tape this guide next to the machine or leave it nearby so they can check it as they’re learning to do the chore. Eventually, they’ll become confident enough doing laundry on their own. 

Foster Independence

When your kids reach high school age, they’ll become more adept at doing the laundry and will be able to handle the process from start to finish. Although you might need to prompt them to perform the task, you can put them in charge of their own laundry. For example, you can assign them to wash their school uniforms, pajamas, and sports gear a couple of times a week.

Teenagers also tend to take pride in their independence and how grown up they are. To help foster their self-reliance, you can also ask them to teach their younger siblings how to do the laundry. If they happen to make mistakes, let them learn from these errors 

Involving your younger kids in doing the laundry is a great way to keep your eye on them while getting some chores done. It can also effectively teach your kids how to be responsible and independent at any age. More importantly, doing the laundry is a valuable life skill that will come in handy once your children become adults.

photo credit:

JL Santiago Aquino

A millennial lifestyle blogger from Caloocan City who adores trying new things. ✨ Email: Follow @JayL_Aquino on Instagram, Twitter, TikTok & Facebook.


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