Great news! Children can assist you in doing the laundry — washing, folding and putting away clothes. How can it be done? The following are from parents who have come up with ways to get their kids actively involved in this family chore. Here is what they did:
Bin There, Done That
With four children, ages 3, 5, 7 and 8, I was doing laundry every day of the week. So I came up with the Bin Plan. When the dryer was done, I sorted things directly into multiple bins in the laundry room. Each child had his or her own bin, plus we had bins for socks, bathroom towels and kitchen towels. The kids were responsible for folding and putting away their own clothes. The responsibility for the other bins rotated among the kids. In the end, the only things I had left to fold were my husband's and my clothes.
Tots Folding Socks
I taught my children to do laundry through age-appropriate tasks. At 18 months, my kids folded washcloths and small towels.
At ages 3 and 4, they also folded socks and shorts. I continued to add items as they grew.
By the time they were 5, they were able to fold and put away their own laundry.
Turning 10 years old was quite a milestone for our children. On our boys' 10th birthdays, my husband and I included a unique gift in the birthday mix: a laundry basket with a special card affixed to the inside. The card was an invitation to join me in the laundry room for a tutorial on how to use the washer and dryer.
I made these sessions fun and memorable. We discussed everything from laundry detergent to washing difficult items like blankets. Then we agreed upon a day of the week that each boy would claim as his laundry day. Once he demonstrated that he had mastered the machines, each boy was given the honor of doing his weekly laundry. We never made this seem like a chore but more of a rite of passage.
—Kim Van Dunk