We often forget how magical the world is through the eyes of a child. Mundane daily tasks are suddenly fascinating when a toddler observes them for the first time. A 2019 study from the University of Alabama indicates that young children are more interested in basic household objects than flashy, gimmicky toys often found at the store. Surprising, right? But perhaps it shouldn’t be: after all, how many children’s toys are designed to resemble cooking, shopping, fixing broken objects with plastic tools, or childcare? Exploring the natural world instead of a virtual fantasy allows a child's imagination and knowledge to flourish.
The Fun in Everyday Tasks
It's far too easy to teach your child resentment and annoyance when it comes to everyday tasks like cooking and cleaning. Every time you roll your eyes while you clean up a mess or complain about the mountain of laundry to put away, you're sending your child a clear message that these jobs are to be dreaded.
What if, instead, you tried to involve your child in a fun, memorable way? It’s easy to start now!
8 Benefits of Teaching Your Kids to Do Laundry
Laundry is a task everyone must learn to do, as clean clothing is a crucial part of basic hygiene. Since young children are naturally intrigued by basic processes, why not involve them when laundry day rolls around? Teaching your little one to help with this simple chore has many benefits.
As you teach the basic principles of laundry, you are also teaching your child responsibility. You can explain to them why chores are necessary and how keeping up with them benefits the whole family. Assigning specific parts of the process to your child helps them feel empowered. Knowing that even a minor part of a household function relies on them is a great first step to understanding the value of responsibility. Depending on the child's age, the task can be as simple as handing you soap sheets to put in with the load!
More Quality Time With Their Caregiver
Doing laundry with your child is an excellent opportunity to spend quality time with them while still accomplishing something on your to-do list. Instead of distracting them with toys or a movie, they will be enthralled by the process of sorting, loading, and folding.
Help Them Feel Proud and Independent
All children will go through the "I want to do it by myself!" phase. When a toddler can successfully complete a task, they feel a sense of pride and accomplishment. Establishing independence early on helps a child to grow in self-assurance and confidence. Even the simplest of activities can help fulfill the need to prove themselves. Watch their smile grow as they proudly hand you a soap sheet, which is a compact replacement for wasteful liquid detergents.
You can even use soap sheets for travel if you will be out of town for a few weeks but still need to get the laundry done; even an exciting hotel trip or a visit to Grandma’s can be intimidating for a child, and the familiar routine of still doing laundry could be intriguing.
Invokes a Sense of Trust
Toddlers often hear "Don't!" or "Stop!" when they play. Although these phrases are often used with good intentions to protect your child from harm, they can make them feel confused and shameful. Allowing them to help with a safe and straightforward chore validates their curiosity and helps them to feel trusted. Trust is a two-way street. As they develop their skills under your supervision, they may develop more obedience to your warnings and instructions.
Learn a Life Skill Early On
When I moved out for the first time as an 18-year-old, I had barely done one load of laundry. I felt awkward and ashamed as I googled basic principles such as how to operate the machine and what kind of soap sheets or detergent to buy. I may be an anomaly, but I definitely wish I had learned before then.
There are many essential life skills to learn before adulthood, so why not start teaching your child now? Children are like sponges; they observe closely and soak in new information quickly. Learning foundational abilities at a young age will mean complete mastery by the time they become teenagers. The teenage years are complicated enough. Why not leave this time for your child to work on more complex emotional and physical skills? Travel soap sheets are easy for a toddler to handle, which can be the perfect way to get them involved.
Teaches Respect and Care For Belongings
When a child's basic needs are met, they can start to take little luxuries, such as an abundance of high-quality clothes, for granted. As your child learns the laundry process, you can teach them the privilege of having their own items. Clothing, sheets, and towels are not expendable items to be treated poorly; they have value and should be appropriately cared for. This is an excellent concept for young children to learn and can encourage them to care for other household items.
Mentally and Physically Stimulating
All the different colors and textures of laundry make it a very stimulating activity for young children. It's also a great opportunity to practice motor skills. Toddlers can learn new words for all the different articles of clothing and even apply the basic arithmetic principle of sorting.
Soap sheets for travel from Purecise(™) are free of harmful chemicals, which means they are safe for children to handle. This is a fantastic way to involve your child in your laundry routine.
Understand the Importance of Good Hygiene
Last but not least, teaching your child laundry can help your little one better understand the concept of good hygiene. You can explain to them why we wash our clothes, and how to know when something needs to be cleaned. By learning this primary aspect of self-care, the child may become more mindful of other facets of their cleanliness.
Knowing how to best get your child involved in the laundry can be overwhelming. Here are a few tips on how to start:
Use Safe Products
Some detergents contain toxic chemicals you may be nervous about exposing your child to. Eco-friendly soap sheets from Purecise(™) are safe and easy to use.
Turn It Into a Game
Disney's charming character Mary Poppins said it best: "In every job that must be done/There is an element of fun/You find the fun and snap!/The job's a game!"
Tasks like sorting and folding can easily be turned into an entertaining game! Get creative and get them excited about this simple chore.
Don't Expect Perfection
You may have to refold some towels or sort the colors differently, but it's worth it to involve your little one. Make sure to verbally acknowledge their hard work and thank them for their help. They’ll remember you as a patient, engaged parent for years to come.
Simplify Your Routine
When you involve your child, it may be helpful to simplify your routine. Liquid detergent can get messy, so opt for travel soap sheets instead.
A Lighter Load, And a Happier Child
Teaching your kids to do laundry is a great way to get them involved in daily chores while teaching them handy skills. Watch your child flourish as their independence and confidence grows.
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