4 Clever Ways to involve your Children in the Laundry Process
Out of all the household tasks for a family, laundry is one of the most challenging. CBSNews.com referenced a report by the EPA , which said that the average family does at least 400 loads of laundry a year. If you have children, it can take a whole day to sort, clean, and put away the clothes. Instead of one person doing it, the whole family can be involved. There are simple little tricks you can use to get your children involved. While they will never be totally enthused about it, at least you will not have to spend all evening nagging them to get it done. With these pointers, you can still have quality family time while doing laundry.
1. Make Laundry Fun and Simple
Laundry can be an exhausting task if all the dirty clothes are piled together. As children get older and more independent, they like things to be individualized. This is great for you, because they can have their own laundry hamper in their rooms. There are even double hampers that let them divide whites from darks. On laundry day, all they have to do is drop off their hampers to the laundry room. Of course, younger children may need help. Each child who keeps his or her dirty clothes in the hamper can get an allowance or a privilege.
2. Teen Time
By the time your children reach 12 and older, they are usually responsible enough to do their own laundry, says the National Education Department. Let them know how proud you are that they are being more independent. Teach them the things they need to know to do laundry efficiently. Since you do not want outrageous utility bills, let them know what day they can do laundry and make sure they are washing full loads. If they do a good job keeping their laundry done, you may consider extra privileges.
3. Matching Game
Even little ones can match socks! Separate all the clean socks and put them in a pile. Let your younger children have fun finding all the mates they can. You could even play a game like Go Fish. Give each child a small pile of socks and everyone can ask for matches. The winner is the one who gets the most socks matched. This is also a good age to teach children how to sort clothes by person and by what clothes need hung up in the closet. Your younger ones can help you get baskets and hangers ready for family sorting.
4. Movie Night
Your children are more apt to complete a chore if you combine it with something fun. If you are like a lot of families, you probably have a designated day that you do laundry. Instead of it being a dreaded chore, why not make laundry sorting a movie night? Take a vote on your favorite movie and watch it while you sort and fold. Pop a big pan of popcorn and have fun with it. If it is a television show, everyone can put clothes away during the commercials. Your job will be much easier if each person in the household has his or her own labeled basket and colored hangers. The quicker the laundry gets done, the more time there will be to relax and watch the rest of the show.