Wednesday, February 11, 2009

TOTally Working for Me ~ Laundry Helper

Speaking of employing our tots to help out around the house...

On laundry days, Vivienne sorts all of the underwear and socks for me and delivers most of the clothes to their proper drawers. Here's the process of raising a laundress:

~ Infancy: with the baby in a front or back pack, sitting in the middle of the bed, or on the floor, talk about each article of clothing as you fold it. "This is Daddy's big green shirt! This is the way I fold Daddy's big green shirt..."

~ Ages 1 - 2: Pretend that your tot is a squirrel, detective, etc. Send her tunneling through the laundry in search of "a pink shirt" or "Mommy's other yellow sock".

~ Ages 2 - 3: "Hire" your tot how to sort underwear and socks. Make a "Mommy" pile, a "Daddy" pile, and so on. Don't expect him to fold the laundry at this point. Enjoy each step of the process. A 2 - 3 year old may also be able to deliver small piles of clothes to drawers. Vivienne turns into our "Delivery Girl" and puts away most of our laundry (HIP HIP HOORAY!). I taught her to make her delivery and return with, "Is there anything else?"

~ Ages 3 - 4: Your preschooler can now help you sort the dirty laundry! Teach her to make piles for towels, lights, darks, etc. Ask her to keep her eyes open for spots that need to be pre-treated or clothes that need to be mended. By now, "Help with the Laundry" is on Vivienne's chore chart and she earns a nickel every time she helps.

This TOTally Working for Me post was written by Laura. You can visit her at 10 Million Miles. Thanks Laura for sharing this idea!

Do you have something that is working for you and your tot? We'd love to hear about it!


The Aday Family said...

Those are some great ideas! Thank you!

Ruth said...

My daughter has been helping me fold since she was 3! I showed her how to fold a kitchen towel and she loves it so much she will now fold the whole load! At 4 years old now, she has moved on to being able to fold her dad's t-shirts and most of her own clothes. She really enjoys helping me. =)

Infant Bibliophile said...

That tunneling photo is absolutely priceless!! Our 15 month old enjoys sorting the laundry and handing me each piece as I fold it. The mistake I make is not putting the folded piles away quickly enough; when he reaches the end of the pile, he grabs the folded ones, tosses them back in the basket and repeats.

Kim said...

Both of my daughters (5, 2 yr olds) love to use their play grocery cart to cart a drawer load of clothes to where they belong. And I think they do a neater job of it when they are not trying to hold everything and put them in the drawer. But it's too cute to watch them going around the house delivering clothes!