Updated: May 27
My name is Nicole and I am a mom of four littles ages 9 and under. My husband
and I have been mentored for almost a decade by the amazing parenting group, Growing
These mentors have poured into us and helped us create order and vision in our parenting. I hope I can pass on some of that to you today as I share practical ways to help teach your children to take on the task of doing their OWN laundry!
How I taught my kids to do their own laundry (by ages 7 and 9)
Mommas, I’m tired of doing laundry. I had the vision cast for me early on in our
parenting that my children could take on household tasks early on in life. Our kids
have chores and responsibilities around the house daily and weekly. I’ve slowly
handed laundry over to them and wanted to share with you so you can do the same!
Here’s what we did:
Our kids began putting their dirty clothes in their own hamper and were helpers as we took
our clothes to the laundry room. This gave them the general understanding that laundry
doesn’t magically appear clean and that we work as a team to get laundry clean.
Our kids helped do things like bring their laundry baskets downstairs and dump them out.
They had to return their basket back to their room. We also had them begin sorting socks to
find matches and after we (mom or dad) had folded their clothes we gave our kids the
responsibility to put their clothes away in the proper drawer in their room. (Yes, that means
they sometimes laid them nicely and sometimes shoved them in. You learn to let go ).
We began helping our kids learn how to fold. How to make separate piles of shirts, shorts,
pjs, etc. We also handed over switching their own laundry from the wash to the dryer.
During this time frame we also did things with our kids like help them learn to organize their
dressers. Some liked this more than others but those who embraced it really liked the order
that having an organized dresser drawer brings. We also taught our kids how to put a shirt
on a hanger and how to check clothes for sizes (using the number on the tag).
We transitioned the chore of laundry over! This happened at age 9 for our oldest. Age 7 for
the twins. And we think Hope will be ready by age 6. The age varies and you know your
kiddo best. But now they bring their clothes down, load them and put the soap in, switch
them to the dryer and then take them out to fold and put away. The boys are totally solo on
this task. Hope (age 5) wants to do what her big brothers do and she’s a good folder so the
only thing she needs help with is getting the soap.
I love starting slowly with bits of the whole task helped our kids to not be
overwhelmed. That’s why I broke it down by ages so that our children could slowly build on
what they are already knew and gain more confidence. Yes, this did come with frustration
for our kids. Some loved to fold, others didn’t. That’s ok. We still have to fold. Some loved
dumping clothes into the washer and learning to put in the soap. Others weren’t as
interested in the process. That’s ok. Doing laundry is part of life and we use the phrase in
our home “We do hard things”. Teaching your child resilience in learning a new task will
always pay them (and you) a rich reward. Stick with it, help as they go, and give them lots of
grace as you go.
We give each child their own basket so there’s no separation that has to take place. In
some families, parents do uniforms themselves for sanity sake (remember I told you they
sometimes shove clothes into the drawers. )
We split up laundry days and don’t try to do too much on any one day. Try giving each
kid their own special laundry day! You can write it on the fridge so that no one forgets.
I hope these practical small steps help give you vision for not only laundry but other life
lessons that you want your children to conquer while under your roof.