I created this post about getting kids to help with laundry while participating in a campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Shout and received a product sample to facilitate my post and a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate.
With five kids and two adults in the house, I could spend most of my day, every day, doing laundry. The saddest part of that statement is that it is not an exaggeration.
It’s hard to comprehend the shear amount of clothes, towels, sheets, socks (etc, etc) that we go through, but I figure it’s better to do laundry than have a stinky family, right?
So, to keep on top of the laundry I started teaching my kids how to help clean, sort, and fold their laundry at a very early age. We might not be doing everything perfectly, and some of my kids certainly show more ability than others in the home management department, but laundry is one place where kids really CAN help.
Tips to get your kids to help with the laundry
- Start out having your kids watch while you do the laundry. While they stand beside you, talk through the process (which clothes go together, how to start the washing machine, how much soap to put in, etc).
- Have your kids lend a hand while you are doing the laundry (tell them “Find all the white socks to add to this load.”)
- Sort the laundry BEFORE it is taken down to the washing machine.
- Show your kids how to read clothing tags.
- Place all of your detergents, stain removers, dryer sheets, etc. in range so that old enough kids can access them easily (of course you don’t want little ones getting into your soaps and cleaners….Yes, I had a child try to eat laundry detergent at a friend’s house many years ago…).
- Place a stool near the washer and dryer so that kids can reach the knobs (you don’t want any excuses!).
- Make gathering dirty laundry part of the night time routine.
- Once it’s time to start folding the laundry, make it a FUN family affair. We dump the clean clothes on the carpet in front of the TV and sort together (sometimes, though, my kids will volunteer to sort laundry on their own just so that they can watch a movie or TV show…sneaky mom!).
- Label a laundry basket with each family member’s name. Line the laundry baskets up in order of age and toss their clean clothes in. When the basket is full, that person has to fold and put away their clothes. (Scared to have kids fold OUR clothes? That’s fine! Just have them be in charge of their own clothes.)
- Here’s my new favorite tip: Get each family member a mesh laundry bag. During the week, when they dirty socks or underwear, they toss them into their own bag. When the bag is full, it gets washed. When dried….all of their socks and underwear is already together. No more sorting! No more lost socks!
Another great tip is to use Shout Color Catcher with Oxi. As the kids get used to starting loads of laundry, I’ve noticed that several loads have an unhealthy mixture of darks and lights. And most of the time, I don’t discover this mix-up until it’s too late. This month, we’ve been trying Shout Color Catcher with Oxi and have had fantastic results.
Here’s what it does:
- Sheets lock up loose dyes found in the wash water to prevent dyes from running or bleeding onto other clothes.
- Sheets change color as they absorb any loose dyes.
- Saves time by reducing the need for sorting.
- Saves money by reducing the need for half-size loads.
- Oxi Booster powder contains active stain removers to brighten whites and tackle tough stains like grass, dirt, blood and coffee.
- Safe for all colorfast washables.
- Works in all water temperatures.
Being able to do laundry on their own – from the dirty sorting to the wash to the dryer, to the sorting/folding and putting away – will serve your kids very well when they are older. I promise they will thank you for the skills (and they will be PROUD that they are taking care of something so important on their own).
I am giving away two boxes of Shout Color Catcher with Oxi. To enter to win ONE of the boxes of Shout Color Catcher with Oxi, leave a comment below with one of your favorite laundry tips. TWO (2) winners will be chosen on January 29, 2012 and notified via email.
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