5 Games That Make Folding Laundry Fun for Your Toddler

5 Games That Make Folding Laundry Fun for Your Toddler

Laundry day equals learning fun with these brain-boosting toddler games!

By Heather Chaet

No 3-year-old likes it when Mom has to do chores instead of playing. I can’t play trains because I have to do the dishes. We can’t go to the park right now because we have to do the grocery shopping. I can’t have a tea party right now with you, Peekers the Bear, Bobo the penguin, and Mr. Whiskers, because I have to do the laundry.

I bet if we asked our toddlers, they would say there are way too many chores that Mom has to do every day. But what if we could combine Mom’s chores with some games Kiddo can play? And what if those games are great to build some fabulous skills? Right, that would be somewhat close to a motherhood miracle.

The next time it’s laundry day (I know, when isn’t laundry day?), try these five cool games as you sort those fresh-from-the-dryer clothes. Not only do you get the piles folded, you get your little one involved with some cool brain-boosting fun.

1. Match It Up!
Why do you think they make so many memory games for tots? Matching one item to its twin is a great workout for those little brains. What does every family have a gazillion pairs of? Socks! Put your little one to the task of matching all of those socks. Finding the proper partner for her pink-and-gray little foot covers or for her dad’s long white athletic ones allows her to hone those matching skills.

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2. Categorize This!
Kids learn to make sense of the world by putting items into categories. Food, animals, things that move on wheels … you get the idea. Help your child stretch that brain by having him think of all of the different ways to categorize the clothes as you fold them. You could group them by the person who wears them, by the type of clothing, or by how many openings (one for socks, three for pants and undies, four for shirts, zero for towels, and so on). You may be surprised by the different ways your child will group everything.

3. What Do You Feel?
Have your little one close her eyes, and guess the item you give her just by feeling. It’s fun, and it teaches her all about her senses and introduces her to a bunch of nifty textures. From how fuzzy it is on the inside of that sweatshirt to the smooth silkiness of one of your blouses, exploring and comparing different fabrics increases her vocabulary as you both try to describe what she feels.


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4. What If?
Toddlers love to ask questions and are naturally curious about their world. Use this to your advantage with this activity. Hold up a pair of funny socks and ask, “What would you say to a polar bear wearing these socks?” or “If we went on vacation to the beach, what items in this big pile would we need?” From zany imaginative play to goofy mini quizzes, having a great conversation and back-and-forth is not only a blast, but brain-boosting too.

5. Color Me a Rainbow!
That pile of clothes is like a mashed-up rainbow. Encourage your toddler to pick up a piece of clothing, and name as many other things he can that are the same color. For instance, after choosing those red pajamas, he could name an apple, a fire truck, pizza sauce, or a ladybug. Have him do it with every color in the pile -- and then, see how you do on this color challenge.

How do you engage your children with chores around the house?

Heather Chaet documents her mini parenting successes, epic mommy fails, and everything in between for a plethora (love that word!) of publications and websites such as CafeMom, New York Family, and AdWeek. While her online persona is found at heatherchaet.com, Heather lives in New York City with her film director husband and one insanely curious, cat-obsessed daughter.

Image ©iStock.com/Imgorthand

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