With five (soon to be six) people in the house we have a lot of laundry. While I don’t mind doing the laundry getting it all sorted, as well as folded and put away is time-consuming. I also want to teach my children that being part of a family means you help out around the house. However when it comes to laundry they drag their feet, whine, and complain about helping.
In an effort to curb the whining and get more willing help I’ve been trying out all different gimmicks, bribes, incentives, you name it. Last weekend amongst complaints of being bored I came up with a game that seemed to work in both getting them to help and curing their boredom.
Socks are the bane of my existence. With 10 feet in the house there are always pies of socks mismatched and piles of socks waiting to be matched. I collected all our mismatch bags (each person has one in their closet) and all the clean socks from the laundry I had just done and created the Sock Matching Game:
My kids love games, the love competing against each other and will try anything for the chance to win a piece of candy.
Set up a drying rack somewhere where your children will have room to run around it on all sides.
Fill the rack with all the socks you can find, starting on the outer rungs first. I tried to avoid the inner rungs as they were too hard to reach and the kids would knock of other socks getting to them.
Set up a sorting area to place the matched socks. We just used paper to mark each kids spot, you could also use baskets.
After socks are matched and folded this is where the kids pile them up.
Place kids on each side of the drying rack (I only have two old enough to play but this could work with up to four).
Have kids put their hands on their head and close their eyes (so they don’t start matching!). On the count of three set them loose to match!
The goal is to run around and match as many socks as possible until there are no matches left. The socks DO NOT have to be their own. They just need to match, and be folded.
The winner is the one who matches the most socks.
A variation would be to set a timer and see who can match the most socks in a set amount of time.
The kids had fun, the socks were matched and I didn’t have to do it!
My son would like me to add the disclaimer that he feels in our house this game is intrinsically not fair because we have two girls, and “all girls socks look the same”. Coming from the boys whose socks are all white, we think he was just sore that he lost. In the end they both got a piece of candy and I got socks matched and put away. I would call that a win win!
Do your kids help with laundry? Any fun tips or tricks to share with us?