Have a screen-free summer with life skills bingo. In today’s installment, we’ll teach our kids to do laundry in 4 simple steps, courtesy of KT at Lit Mama Homeschool.
When it comes to chores, I’m a total do-it-yourself-er. I’d rather do it my way the first time rather than having to go back and redo everything the kids have done.
There’s a big problem with that, though: I’m overwhelmed, and my kids aren’t learning anything. That’s why I put laundry on our screen-free summer life skills bingo sheet.
My kids need to learn how to do laundry, and I need to learn how to let it go!
Fortunately, my friend KT is a master at teaching her boys life skills – laundry, especially. I’m super excited to share KT’s 4 simple steps for teaching your kids to do laundry.
Scree-free Summer Life Skills Bingo: Teach Your Kids to do Laundry in 4 Simple Steps
My mama has a favorite story she likes to tell about my older brother. When he went away to college he would come back home with piles of laundry to do. Mom didn’t mind, she like knowing he still needed her. One visit, however, he brought home his college girlfriend. As he handed mom his bag of laundry Kim laughed and said, “I’m just glad somebody else is going to do it for once.” Mom stopped, tilted her head, looked at her and said, “What do you mean?” Kim said, “Well, he doesn’t know what he’s doing, so I always have to do it for him at school.”
Mom shook her head, gave my brother The Look and said, “Kim, I taught him to do laundry before he left home.”
I never wanted my boys to even think pretending not to know how to do their own laundry in order to take advantage of a girl. Even though it was pretty funny watching my brother get busted.
So I started them young. Their laundry duties grew with them until today, at 14 & 12, all they have to be told is, “Go put in a load of jeans for me.”
It’s kinda awesome.
You can teach your littles like I did in just a few simple steps.
Start them young
I started my boys out helping with the laundry when they we’re old enough to put their own clothes away. They should be able to do this at 5 or 6 years. I labeled their dresser drawers and showed them what each drawer should contain. Then, whenever I got the laundry folded, they each took their own stack and put it away.
Build on what they know
After a while of being responsible for putting their own clothes away, I started teaching them how to fold. They would fold their own clothes while I took care of the grown up stuff. Then they put away those clothes and I didn’t have to worry about it.
I mean, come on. We would get together as a family, laugh and talk and fold clothes, and my work was more than halved while I had quality time with my kids. Who’d have thought laundry could do that?
Eventually the boys took over the folding entirely, and I could get other things done while they worked. You know, like that next load of laundry.
Get to the good stuff
Before showing them how to use the washer, I taught them the dryer. It became their job to transfer clothes from the washer to the dryer so I could start the next load. I have a pretty simple dryer because I’m not a huge fan of the bells and whistles that cost a fortune to replace if something goes wrong, so the boys picked up on drying clothes very quickly.
Yeah, that’s right. For the last couple years my only laundry job has been to start the washer.
Okay, not all the time, they aren’t slaves. But it’s nice when I’m having a busy day to be able to trust my boys to help out so much.
Finish the job
As they entered the double digits, I figured it was time to show them how to use the washing machine. I took them to the laundry room, showed them how to start the washer, add the soap and fabric softener, and add the clothes. I let the cycle run , then took them back in and had Middle give it a try. The next load was Littlest’s to do.
For about a week, every time I needed to do laundry, the boys came with me. They set the cycle, added soap and fabric softener, and loaded the clothes. Whoever ran the washer was responsible for getting the clothes to the dryer when it was done.
And now… .
Yeah yeah, I have boys who are fully capable of doing their own laundry from start to finish. Sometimes they don’t even tell me they’re doing it. If they need something washed, they just go do a load of laundry.
And since it’s my least favorite chore, I’m down with that.
This is easy
I’ve been training my boys for years, but it doesn’t have to take that long. You could totally show your littlest the ropes over this one perfect summer by following these steps.
So you and I can have coffee this fall while the laundry fairies are getting our work done.
I mean, it’s about time those fairies worked for us.
KT Brison is a former children’s librarian and educator who gave all that up for the most important job in her life—homeschooling her boys.Though she loves the outdoors and rambling around her farm, she can usually be found with her nose in a book. Any book. As long as it has words. You can read her ideas for educating with literature at Lit Mama Homeschool or connect with her on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, or Twitter.
Want to join in the Screen-free fun? Read all about the Screen-free summer life skills bingo series here!