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Everyday Early Intervention: Let’s Do the Laundry
Laundry washing, sorting, and folding is full of opportunities to work on early intervention outcomes. Folding, sorting, and playing in clean laundry can be lots of fun at home or at the laundromat. Here are some areas where daily routines can help your child learn:
Fine and Gross Motor Skills
Allow your child to crawl in and out of a laundry basket on the floor to practice motor coordination. Encourage an infant who can pull to a stand to push a basket of laundry along the floor and use the basket for support to walk. Roll socks into balls and toss them into the laundry basket as a game to build hand-eye coordination and throwing skills.
Sort laundry by different attributes in various baskets. Say, “Can you put all of daddy’s clothes in the blue basket and your clothes in the white basket?” Practice matching socks into pairs. Help your child learn sequencing by helping move clothes through the washing process.
Use the time at the Laundromat when the washer and dryer are running to read stories, sing songs, or do fingerplays with your child. Describe what is happening in the washing machine when you see the soap being added or the spin cycle begin. Introduce new vocabulary about the textures, designs, and colors of the clothing you are sorting.
Help your child learn to share and observe boundaries. Explain that you want to keep the laundry you folded neatly so you can put it away in drawers. Say, “This is my basket of folded laundry. Thank you for leaving it folded and neat for me.”