As any parent knows, there’s a lot of laundry to be done. So much so that the average household does almost 8 loads of laundry per week! And with each load taking about an hour, washing your clothes can also be time-consuming.
Teaching your kids to do laundry will give them responsibility while also taking some of the clothes washing burden off you. But like any chore, it can be hard to know how to teach kids to do laundry correctly and responsibly.
Even Young Kids Can Help With Laundry
Starting early can help. When your kids are toddlers, they can start learning the basic concepts that they need to start doing laundry.
For example, toddlers can sort colors and, once they’re school-aged, they can fold, sort, and put away their clothes.
Once they reach preteen age, they should be ready to wash their own loads with parental supervision. Until then, they can watch the parents do laundry to learn the ropes and assist where they can.
Generally, by the time your child is a teenager, they should be able to do their own laundry safely without parental supervision.
It’ll typically break down like this:
- 2-3 years: Learn to sort by color
- 4-9 years: Help with folding, loading and putting away
- 10-12 years: Do laundry with supervision
- 13+ years: Do their own laundry
Make Laundry Fun
Teaching kids to do laundry generally starts with showing them how it’s done. However, making the chores fun always helps!
This free sock matching game can help kids match patterns while also being a game that you do together.
Or, you can turn your laundry baskets into hoops and having your kids “shoot” their dirty clothes into baskets. This can help them learn to sort clothes by lights and darks, while also having fun and being silly.
Then you can start to show them how to operate the machines, measure the detergent, and fold the clothes.
Laundry Cheat Sheets For Kids
It may also help to provide cheat sheets like this printable one when your child is just starting to do laundry.
You can label the washing machine and dryer with the right buttons to hit, which can help your child remember how to do it.
Also, put a reminder on the dryer to clean out the air filter before each use, which can help keep your child safe and prevent house fires.
To encourage laundry room safety, you’ll want to make sure your kid knows proper laundry room safety procedures.
Make sure they know not to climb on the machines or inside of them. You might also want to label any potentially dangerous substances like detergents or bleaches with stickers to let your child know they’re dangerous, like this printable set.
Teaching kids to do laundry is all about starting slow and being patient. And most of all, it’s about laying the groundwork for your children to become well-rounded adults who don’t dread household tasks.
Home with the kids and not sure what to do with the long days? Check out our roundup of free kids’ chore charts and routine ideas to help you adapt to being home.
Special thanks to guest blogger Emily Gibson from Siege Media for writing this article for The Ruthless Crafter.