Lockdown Day 2 – Time to do some laundry!
*LET’S DO SOME LAUNDRY*
We all need a sense of purpose to develop a positive self-esteem and self-image. This is an important part of a child’s social and emotional development. Young children are often overlooked when it comes to general household chores as they are deemed to be ‘too little’ or ‘incapable’. They are, in fact, the very opposite!
The 3 to 6-year-old is actively working towards becoming independent as part of a socially cohesive community. In doing so, the child is exposed to multiple ‘hidden’ learning opportunities that lay the foundation for later academic activities.
Let’s start by getting the children involved in doing the laundry today!
1. COLLECT ALL LAUNDRY ITEMS THAT NEED TO BE WASHED
This is a great job for little people that requires movement, gross and fine motor skills. Perhaps you have a laundry basket in each bathroom? Place one laundry basket in a central point, and ask the child to collect all the clothes that are in the other baskets and place them into this one basket.
2. CARRY THE BASKET TO THE WASHING MACHINE
This is ‘big effort’ work for the child! Assist where necessary, but allow the child to help you carry the basket to the washing machine.
3. SORT THE CLOTHES
Who needs pen and paper for a sorting activity! This is an activity that can easily be done by the young child. You decide how you want your laundry to be sorted – by type (towels, shirts, pants etc.) or by colour (whites, lights, brights and dark).
Either way, you will be honing your child’s sorting and classification skills – a necessary precursor for Maths! Remember to use rich language here. This can also be a great grammar lesson – just think of all the nouns and adjectives that can be used here!
4. PACK THE WASHING MACHINE
How about some estimation here? Do you think that this whole pile can fit into the machine at once? Do you think that we might need to do this in two loads? Maybe we can do half now, and half later… Again: Maths!
5. MEASURE THE REQUIRED DETERGENT
Can you please pour the detergent to fill this one cup. Pour the detergent into the big drawer. Let’s measure half a cup of fabric softener and pour it into the little drawer. (Maths and grammar!)
6. HAVE A BREAK
Ideas for snack-making will be covered over the next few days too!
7. UNPACK THE WASHING MACHINE
Oh goodness – the laundry feels different now! When we put it in the machine it was dry… now it is wet. It was light… now it is heavier… Comparative language skills at their best, never mind a bit of Science for good measure!
8. CARRY THE BASKET TO THE WASHING LINE
As before – some good ‘big effort’ exercise here.
9. HANGING THE WASHING
Even if you have a normal washing line, please consider separating your washing and giving the child their own basket with some smaller items. Create a hanging line (or use your fold-out drying rack) that the child can access. Now, enjoy hanging the washing together!
The pegging activity is very good for strengthening little fingers in preparation for the development of a strong pencil grip, and you can also add some colour matching skills here by asking the child to use the same colour pegs for an item that requires two pegs.
10. TAKING DOWN AND SORTING THE WASHING
As above. The unpegging action will strengthen the fingers. Bring three baskets to the line and sort the clothes as they are taken off the line: one for smalls that just need to be folded and packed away (the child can do this), one for larger items that need to be folded and packed away, and one for items that will require ironing.
Critical thinking skills are being used here, as well as mathematical sorting and classifying skills!
11. FOLDING AND PACKING AWAY
Invite the child to start with the basket of smaller items. Find matching socks (Maths) and learn to roll/fold them. Fold underwear. Fold tea towels. Sort the folded items by owner. Carry the folded items to where they belong so that the owners can pack them away.
Encourage the child to pack away her/his own clothes. Another sorting activity.
The overall beauty of this activity?
It can be repeated, at least every second or third day! 😄