Monday, June 3, 2013

Laundry Lessons

Not to air our dirty laundry, but what can we possibly learn from this? 

A lot of moments can be teachable moments, but even knowing that, I was a bit taken aback at just how many things we did learn (yes, I learned a few as well) while doing something as simple as laundry!

First we sorted the kid's clothes, but of course, the lesson starts before that. The kids are required to put their clothes in the hamper. If they don't, their clothes don't get washed, and soon, we don't have our favorite angry birds t-shirts for school! But I digress.
  • We sorted the clothes into mostly white (& cotton), mostly cotton that need a bit more vigorous washing, and mostly not (the ones that require gentle washing)! We fastened buttons, snaps, zippers etc, and turned clothes with prints on them inside out. Lots of fine motor fun.
  • We also sorted the clothes to make sure that we had a whole set, like both socks in a pair, tops and bottoms of pajamas etc.
  • The sorting into 3 piles prompted a discussion about the different settings on the washer, hot water cleaning more dirt, but also being tough on the clothes etc. And of course, energy. Hot water needs more energy, as the water needs to be heated up. Batman looked at the whites, which were not very dirty, and at all the settings, and decided on the warm/cold cycle as a compromise between cleanliness and energy efficiency! Perfect choice!
  • When the time showed up, Batman asked me - is that time in minutes or seconds? Well, that got us talking about minutes and seconds, and what might happen if I add an "extra rinse" setting, or do a heavy soil vs. light soil etc. We made predictions about more time or less time, rather than the number of minutes!
  • And then, the most fun part of laundry started. One kid (or mom) picks the clothes from sorted pile, and throws them after balling it up, and the second one, standing in front of the washer, catches it and places it in the washer!! Some gross motor fun...
  • We also do some estimates about how many clothes might fit into the washer, and talk about not overfilling it....
So let's see, a simple thing like laundry, and we learned about responsibility, sharing, science behind dirt and soap, energy efficiency, math fun with sorting, prediction and time, fine and gross motor fun...
Of course, I don't do this every time I do laundry, but often enough, and mostly with the kid's laundry, to motivate them, and to have some fun!

I bet us parents do it all the time, we just don't write elaborate posts about our teachable moments!! But sometimes, we just need to make conscious decisions to go with the flow, and forget about toys, or gadgets, or printables, or books, and just teach as life happens!

Shared at:
Link & Learn, Montessori Monday
, Kids Get Crafty
, Monday Kid Corner, Share it Saturday, Stress Free Sunday