Teaching our children in small steps is a fundamental play activity.
They copy what we do.
We share, show and have fun with them we see their play develop.
Laundry provides lots of ways to develop piece of the apple type activities.
Sorting and classifying
I could show you our pile of laundry but I don’t think any of the family would appreciate you seeing our smalls. So you’ll have to imagine.
One basket of laundry + one talkative tot who loves to name everything.
Hold up a piece from them to name. ( Top)
Who’s top? ( Toby’s top)
Let’s put that here.
Assign a place for each member of the family and a few extra for the other things like towels, wash cloths, tablecloths, napkins, bedding etc
Now you have piles of laundry. We do ours in a spare room. Although it’s pretty effective to do it on the children’s bed as it does get put away before bedtime.
Carry the piles of laundry to the correct room, cupboard. Children love the responsibility.
Resort the young child’s clothes with him. We do this in many ways. Our current way is, find all the pants and put them in a pile. The aim isn’t to be efficient but to have fun. Then all the pants go into the draw. More on draws in a moment. Find the socks etc. Sometimes I’ll sort the pile and we’ll sit together and put them in the draws.
Where do all the socks go? My little one loves all the draw banging and pushing in. Inside sure doesn’t look pretty but he’s learning where things go and he soon gets that not pushing in his PJs will mean the draw underneath won’t open. Natural consequences and problem solving.
Label your draws
Labels don’t need to be fancy, unless of course you like that type of thing. I prefer functional. However bad my drawings are the label serves its purpose. Picture for the non readers and a word for the prereaders. Each child has a different colour card. I drew them with them, partly to make sure they knew what it was and also to get them to put the labels on the draws. Now they own the draw. They know what goes in it. Baskets work just as well and especially for socks- although we experienced a lot of dumping and not a lot of clearing up. Whatever works for you!
When to start?
When they are curious. By 2.5yrs they were very good at dumping and filling. Socks were the only thing they sorted or put away. They’ve watched, played and participated in the system overtime. Eventually they take it over and do it themselves. They love that responsibility and the beaming faces tell it all.
Not every time and not ever week but we should teach and train our children in controlling their space and making their space a happy one.
Now you’ve read about piece of apple techniques how will you use this with your child?