Peace of Mind for Parents – Fun Ways to Build Your Child’s Literacy Skills While Doing Laundry Together

Turn laundry time into learning time! Whether you’re washing clothes at home or at the laundromat, there are plenty of things to talk about with your child. These rich conversations help to build your child’s language and literacy development. Try the following activities the next time you are doing a load of laundry.

  • Hunt for numbers and letters: Play a game with your child to find numbers or letters of the alphabet on signs, laundry products, clothes, and washing machines.
  • Count: Laundry time provides plenty of opportunities to count with your child. Your child can count the number of socks that are folded.
  • colors: Many conversations can revolve around colors. Ask your child to bring you the blue shirt, or have your child say the colors of items as you pull them from the dryer. You can also find colors on soap boxes, signs, and machines.
  • Sort clothes: Having your child help you sort clothes can spark many different conversations. For example, you can sort clothes by colors (whites, blues, reds) or by types (shirts, pants, socks).
  • Look for shapes: Encourage your child to find various shapes. For example, circle shapes include knobs, dryer windows, and coins; soap boxes, windows, and books are rectangles.
  • Read labels: Talk with your child as you read labels, such as tags in clothes (“The tag says to turn this shirt inside out”) or words on machines (“Let’s turn the knob to ‘delicate’”). Hearing new words helps expand your child’s vocabulary.
  • Read books: One of the best ways to enhance your child’s literacy skills is to read books together. Cuddle up together with a book while you wait for the washer or dryer to finish a cycle.

DONNA C. CELANO, SUSAN B. NEUMAN

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Age Groups:

Advanced Pre-K
Preschool
School-Age
Toddler

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