Now that Elijah is back in school, I am Josiah’s primary playmate, which means I’m back to doing housework with my little tag-along. While he does play well by himself when I need him to, I like involving my children in various household chores and letting them learn how to help around the home.
The other day Josiah wanted to play a game with me while I was trying to get the laundry gathered and ready to wash. Glancing down at his Candy Land game spread out on the floor, I got an idea.
“How would you like to play a game to help me sort the laundry,” I asked him.
“A game? Yeah!” was his reply.
I told him that I’d need to borrow some of the color cards from his game, and he eagerly handed me the ones I wanted. Then we headed off to the laundry room for our exciting new “game.”
With all the clothes piled to one side or still in the hamper, I set three empty laundry baskets on the floor, then proceeded to set different color cards in front of them.
I explained to Josiah that his job was to match the clothes with the right baskets, sorting them by the color cards in front of each one. (Since Candy Land doesn’t have a white or black card, I grabbed an index card from the kitchen, cut it in half, and drew a white square and black square. I also doodled out a towel, washcloth, pair of socks, and a pair of underwear to place with the “White” basket, too. Josiah especially liked the underwear picture. Boys.)
Our three baskets were: Darks (blacks, blues, & greens), Reds (reds, oranges, and yellows), and Whites & Linens (light colors, towels, washcloths, most socks, and underwear).
(I know that some people sort their laundry differently or not at all, but this was a simple system that he could follow, and I could easily adjust if needed.)
Once everything was set up and understood, he stood in the middle of baskets, near the pile of clothes, and with a “1-2-3-Go!” he started sorting things in to the corresponding basket. He had so much fun matching the colors and showing me where each item went that he was done in no time with little help from me. (I did some sorting, too, rather than just be a slacker and leave it all to my 3-year-old. Haha.)
When he was all done, I gave him a high five and let him help me load the washer with the first basket of clothes. Then he went back to happily playing Candy Land (not sure how he plays it by himself, but he was content so I left it alone.)
Since the “game” worked so well, and since I know that in the coming months of my pregnancy, leaning over and bending will be a little more difficult, I decided to work up a better sorting guide for my little helper to use next time. It is a great way to reinforce his basic skills of color recognition and matching, plus he’s learning an important life skill and helping Mommy out at the same time. Win-win-win!
I’m also sharing this guide with you. You can download a free printable of the “Laundry Sorting ‘Game’” to play with your little ones. Just cut out the sections to label your sorting baskets. (Or use the basic idea and tweak it to fit your laundry sorting routine.) The socks and underwear icons on the printable are courtesy of MediaLoot.
And just in your case your kids are a little older, don’t worry. When Elijah saw me working on the guide, he just read “The Laundry Sorting ‘Game’” and asked if we could play it! Hahaha. Sadly, I didn’t have any laundry that needed sorted at the time, but I’ll be sure to include him the next time we…um… “play.”
(While we’re talking laundry, you might want to check out my other laundry-themed posts: How to Get Grease Stains (Even Set-In Ones) Out, How to Get Grass Stains Out of Clothes, How to Get Dry Erase Marker Out of Jeans, and A Ridiculously Simple Way to Get Silly Putty Out of Fabric .)