How to Teach Your Child to Do Laundry

Laundry is that one chore that never seems to end. Does anyone ever get caught up on laundry? I feel like it is a never-ending cycle!

Of course, just like every other chore in the household, it feels like it is so much easier to just do it yourself instead of constantly reminding the kids to get it done. Even helping the kids do their own laundry too probably feels like a hassle.

Teaching our kids to do laundry can also be one less chore you have to worry about in the house. It’s also a task that every child should learn before they leave their home since laundry is just part of life for all of us no matter what!

Children can start learning from any age on how to do laundry. You can easily teach them a life-skill they will use forever and get yourself some help around the house too. Here is how to teach your child to do laundry.

Get Started Early

A very young child, especially when they are toddlers, are very curious and fascinating about household chores. They are eager to give the chore a try when they see you doing it. When your child shows their curiosity for a household chore then it’s always a great time to teach them the aspects of it.

Teaching your young child to do laundry can be fun for them as well. You can use clothes to play games with them:

  • Match colors together (perfect for pairing socks or sorting colors)
  • Counting when you are sorting
  • Folding skills (start with small items that are easy to fold, such as washcloths)

Teaching Grade School Kids

When your kids become grade school age then they can do a lot more when it comes to laundry.

  • Place laundry baskets or hampers in every bedroom and bathroom. Teach them to bring their dirty clothes to the laundry room daily. This will help ensure all the dirty clothes are brought to get washed.
  • Teach them how to sort the laundry into darks and whites.
  • Explain the difference between dirty and clothes that can be wearable again.
  • Show them how to hang up their clothes and make sure you install a closet rod that is low enough for them to reach.
  • Labelling dresser drawers with words or pictures can help them put away their clothes in the right place.
  • Make it a chore in your home to have every family member be responsible for returning their clean clothes back to their bedroom in the closet or dresser.

Decoding Wash Care Symbols

It’s important to show your kids how and why to check the wash care labels on clothing. These labels will give them a lot of information and how to properly care for your family’s clothing. You can read more about this over at Your Decoding Guide to Wash Care Symbols on Clothing.

Getting the Wash Started

  1. Teach your kids how to load the washing machine properly after they have learned to sort the laundry into darks and lights. Tell them the proper load size for your machine. You don’t want them to stuff in so much where everything doesn’t get cleaned.
  2. Show them how to add detergent. Teaching your child where the detergent tray and how much to add is important. For smaller children, always supervise them when they are handling chemicals.
  3. Teach them how to operate the washing machine. Washing machines can be complex, so start with a normal cycle wash and work your way through the other washing machine functions. Explain each different button to them and which buttons they need to press.
  4. Show them how to protect their clothing. Some clothing items are washed better inside out to avoid the a “washed out” look. Teach them to turn knitted items, corduroy, textured fabrics, and sweatshirts inside out.
  5. Set reminders. Teach your kids to set reminders on their phones or a timer to come back when the clothing is done washing. This will help prompt them to remember that the laundry isn’t done yet, but ready to be dried.

Drying the Clothes

  1. Move the clothing to the dryer. When the wash is finished, show your children how to move the wet clothes over to the dryer.
  2. Show them the lint catcher. Pull out the lint catcher and remind them that this is an important step. Explain to your kids that this helps the dryer work better.
  3. Add a dryer sheet. If you use dryer sheets, then show them how to throw one in before you start the drying cycle. You can also add fabric softeners here. Be sure to teach them about both.
  4. Teach them how to operate the dryer. Once again, start with a normal drying cycle. Explain to them what each button does and what ones they need to press.
  5. Dry clothing by hand. If there are clothes you normally hang dry, show your kids which items are meant to hang dry versus going into the dryer. You can easily find out how to do this by reading the wash care label on the clothing.

Folding and Storing Laundry

Once the dryer is done, the clothing is ready to be folded and stored away.

  1. Teach them how to fold clothing. Toddlers can learn to fold socks and towels. Grade school kids can learn how to properly fold or hang clothes. Show them how to properly fold or hang clothes. There are a lot of videos online how to fold different clothing items or towels. Find videos or show them how yourself so they can learn.
  2. Show them where to store their clothing. For young kids, you can start showing them where their clothing goes. Older children will have no problem with this later.

Kid-Friendly Laundry Tips

These laundry tips and time-saving tips can help your kids master the laundry chore with ease.

  1. Make the laundry room kid-friendly. Use a small step stool so that young children can see what they are doing and reach the top of the machine. Purchase small plastic and stackable laundry bins so the kids can sort the laundry room.
  2. Keep the laundry room organized. Store laundry cleaners up high so young children cannot reach them. Clear away heavy objects. Keep the room clutter free.
  3. Create a chart. Create a chart to show the kids a step by step progress for doing the laundry. A visual chart works great for the younger kids!
  4. Make laundry fun for the older kids. Keep it fun and lighthearted when teaching your kids about laundry.
  5. Break it all down. Separating the washing, drying, and putting away clothes can all seem like a lot. Take breaks between parts or divide up the chore between the kids.
  6. Use a reward system. To motivate your kids to do their chores, especially the laundry, is with a reward system. Add laundry to their chore list if you already have one. If you don’t consider starting a reward chart system of your own. It’s a great way to encourage and motivate your children to help around the house.
Do the kids in your family do laundry? How did you teach them? What tips and tricks do you have for other moms? Join the conversation below.

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