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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Little Laundry Helper

I'm well aware of the fact that children shouldn't watch television before the age of two.  At one point, I would have Madison watch television while I put the laundry on or cooked, etc.  But now I make sure she's involved which has reduced her television time significantly and increased her chances of learning through regular, everyday interactions.

When I'm washing her laundry I let her help! No, I'm not attempting to get her to do her own laundry by the age of five.  But hey, if it happens it happens...just kidding (sort of)! I'm actually teaching her a few things throughout the process.

What we used:

  • Her laundry
  • Baskets (to sort)

What we did:

  • I allow her to help me put the clothes in the washing machine and press the buttons after I've added the detergent, explaining what I/we are doing all along the way.
  • When the clothes are done I let her help me transfer the clothes from the washing machine to the dryer and once again press the buttons to start the machine.
  • Once they are dry we sort, fold and put away (usually the next morning).
  • While I'm folding, hanging and putting away the main items I allow her to be the sock, bib and wash cloth helper.
  • I hand her those items as I get to them and have her put them in the appropriate basket, which is just at her level.
She get's so excited for me to get to another piece and I can tell she enjoys it.  I, of course, give her a little direction when necessary and may have her transfer an item from the wrong basket to the correct one and I'm also certain to give her praise throughout (i.e. very good, good job, thanks, etc.).

Lastly, when it's time for a bath I help her get undressed inside the bathroom then have her take her clothes to her room (right next door) to put the clothes in the hamper before she can get in the tub.

Some times this is done with complaints (she whines) because she is so eager to get into the tub, but I tend to do it this way to get her motivated to help me get her undressed (so she can eventually do it on her own) and it also forces her to remember where she needs to go (to her room) and what she needs to do (put her clothes in the hamper).

What she's learning:

Spacial awareness and memory - Putting laundry away and putting dirty laundry in the hamper.
Daily Life skills - How to do laundry.
Classifying - Grouping socks, bibs, etc.

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25 comments

  1. I just read on babycenter this very morning to have your toddler help you with chores, then I see your post. You are on it! lol. but I do make little Christopher throw away his own trash and diaper, q-tips, and etc. So now that i see your post, I am going to make him help with laundry since he already puts legos and other non-clothing items in the washing machine. lol!

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    1. Thanks, Rekita! I just recently started doing more with Madison after we had an early intervention evaluation in April. It helped me to realize that I could be holding her back and that she is far more capable than I give her credit for!

      Christopher definitely sounds like he's going to make a great laundry helper since he's already doing the basics! I like that you have him throwing away his own trash, diapers, etc., I'll have to start doing that as well! Thanks!

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  2. I am so impressed! I do have the kids help around the house, with cleaning there room, folding clothes and putting them away, making their bed, putting away toyes, trash, etc. We even have a Chores list posted upstairs...with the things I just mentioned. But this post, reminds me to be even more intentional about teaching them "life skills" because it's important that our kids know how to operate once they leave the home (the sooner the better)!
    Thanks for the insight, great post!

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    1. Thanks, Tasha! You sound like you're own it too! And I agree, the sooner the better with teaching life skills! We tend to do it, naturally, just by having them around while we're doing things but like you said being intentional is key. I hope it'll make life easier for them later own....although things may be considered a chore hopefully it won't feel like it's a chore!

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  3. This is awesome! It definitely helps to have the front loading washer and dryer (note taken). She looks like she has the hang of it. This creates more opportunity for interaction between you two and you're making "work" fun...she'll probably use this against you in the future...probably around her teenage years! LOL!!

    Great Job Nicole!!

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    1. I'm definitely glad we got the front load washer/dryer! Maddie totally has doing laundry down now and it's become a fun process for us both!

      I can see her fussing about a lot of this stuff later down the rode! It doesn't help that I'm documenting it all, lol!

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  4. WOW Nicole, this is awesome.

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  5. Isn't it exciting to discover that children can do things we had no idea they could do? I LOVE IT! She looks so happy to be a helper.

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    1. I totally agree, Lisa! I tell people all the time that children are capable of SO much more than we give them credit for and they are eager to help and learn, especially at this age!

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  6. I think this is fantastic. I think it's so important to have chores and helping out around the house become a part of children's lives at an early age.

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    1. Thanks, Ashley! I agree! Oftentimes we think children are too young to learn these things but they are really so eager to help!

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  7. Children are the best little helpers! And cheerful ones too :) my little one helps with loading the washer and dryer, he loves it! Now I'll see if he'll help put away certain items, like you're doing with yours. That's a wonderful idea and perfect for their age!

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    1. They truly are, Kristine! Maddie definitely enjoys this task and I'm certain it doesn't feel like a chore to her at all at this stage!

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  8. She is growing up way too fast! I remember seeing photos of her around Christmas time and she was still resembling a baby. Today she looks more like a toddler and little lady! I am sure you are loving every minute of mom world :)

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    1. Oh, Kaylyn, I'm right there with you! It seems like just yesterday she was a little bitty baby :) but I'm definitely loving this stage!

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  9. Love it! Getting them to help early makes a difference, and really, it's good for you too, things will go faster (later on :) ). It's a great way to learn patterns, colors, and organization. I remember the song, "clean up, clean up, everybody do their share" Great post on how to integrate learning with everyday activities.

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    1. I agree, Quana! I'm definitely learning that there are so many things that I can teach her by doing the simplest of things.

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  10. Simon loves helping me w laundry! He also likes to take silverware out of the dishwasher and put it in the drawer!

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    1. Oh, Dara, what a great idea! I'll be giving that one a try next!!! Thanks!

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  11. She is too cute!!! and that's such a good idea to have her help out!

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    1. Thanks, dear! I know she's learning all along the way and I hope it'll make my life a bit easier later on!

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  12. Good good for you!! Really kids seem to like working when they are helping out and doing what we are doing anyway. My 3 year old loves helping me with laundry and just a few weeks ago he went from rolling up the towels to actually knowing how to fold them so is truly helpful now!

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    1. Thanks, Emmy! I agree, kids love to be of use and definitely love to do what we are doing. I think it's so awesome that your little guy is actually folding clothes already, so helpful!

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