I don’t know about you, by my little ones love to help me with chores around the house. And I love to let them help. Well, maybe not “love” because it does make the chores take longer, but I do let them because I know that it is good for them. One of the chores they help with the most is laundry. Not only does it teach them basic life skills, but it is a great opportunity to review math concepts.
Doing laundry is a mundane, repetitive chore, but it is one that even the littlest children can help with. Even a preschool child can match socks together. When they are done, you can count the pairs of socks by twos.
Keep a separate pile for each family member. Your child can then count how many items are in each pile and decide who has the most clothes in this load and who has the least amount of clothes. They could even put the piles in order from the least amount of clothes to the greatest amount.
Young children can also help fold their own shirts and pants. While they fold, you can review lines of symmetry. A line of symmetry is a line down the middle of an object that creates two halves that are exactly mirror images. If you fold a shirt in half so that the sleeves line up together that fold is a line of symmetry. The same idea works for folding pants.
Children can also help you load the washer and dryer. When you turn the machine on, have your child notice what time it is. They could then add the amount of time that the washer or dryer will need to finish the load and predict when the clothes will be finished. When the washer or dryer shuts off, your child can then see if he was right or wrong in his addition. He could even keep track of how many times in a row, he gets it right!
Almost everything in life can be related to math in some way, including laundry. If you can help your child see how math is used in everyday life, they will better understand why they are learning math in the first place. How do you bring math into your child’s life every day?