"Cleaning and scrubbing can wait til tomorrow,
for babies grow up, we've learned to our sorrow.
So quiet down cobwebs, dust go to sleep.
I'm rocking my baby, and babies don't keep!"
This used to be my favorite
justification motto... until my babies grew up!
I'd rather be rocking my kids all day, but someone's got to do the laundry.
That someone is me! Until I had the bright idea to include those babies, (who decided it was time to grow up).
So here are a few tips on how/why to involve the kids in the laundering process.
(I think I need to hire about 5 more kids to really keep up with our mountains of laundry).
--Sorting: Have your kids help you sort the clothes! This is actually a really fun game for my kids. I have 7 laundry bins divided into categories (extra dirty, linens, whites, lights, darks, special dark, special light). They are getting pretty good at getting the clothes into the appropriate bin. I like to think this is effective in helping their math skills (sorting, problem solving, etc).
--Pouring the soap: This is an easy one, but its a job they fight for. The kids love pouring soap into the wash! I don't let them do bleach though, (too harsh).
--Folding: I enjoy folding time with my kids. We have fun sitting on the floor and talking while we fold. They are especially apt at folding hand towels and washcloths, underwear, and t-shirts. Pairing up matching socks is also a good math skill to work on.
--Putting away clothes: This is a required after school-chore, although it needs improvement in our home. Ideally, I have a table in the basement where all the folded clothes are put into neat piles. Then the kids know where to find their pile, and put it away in their bedroom. Labeling the dressers and drawers with the names of the items that belong there is the best advice I can give!
A few pictures of the kids in action...
Good luck (we all need it, right?!) as you find ways to involve your children in your creative processes at home. Even if it's just laundry, you're still creating skills, habits, and memories that will forever be instilled in your precious children!
This article was originally published on Latter-Day Woman as part of my series entitled, "Creating With My Kids," found here.