Thursday, August 9, 2012

Practical Life - Folding Clothes

In order to keep up with all of the laundry in our home I do a wash about once a day. Doing this makes life and facing the laundry basket so much easier come the end of the week! James already puts away his own clothes, but I still fold them. Until now, that is! I know James isn't really going to dig this new life skill, but it's a very important skill to learn and one I'm excited to teach him. I (and his future wife) will appreciate his help in this area! :D

Included in the basket are three child size, cotton, logo-free t-shirts (appliques can bunch and make folding a bit more tricky for those just learning), and a pair of plain white socks. After my initial instruction, James will roll out his work mat, select one item from the basket - let's say a t-shirt - and lay it out flat on the mat. He'll then fold it over length wise just once, fold the sleeves in, and finally fold the bottom of the shirt up so it meets the neckline.

~Thank you for your comments!~


  1. I'm a Kindergarten teacher. We have a few fabric floor mates the students can use. It always catches my attention when I see a kid who is very familiar with how to fold a large floor mat. The rest of the kids watch in wonder. It's great the way you describe to your child the step-by-step process of folding. 3YO is not too young to learn folding.

  2. Great one. I'm setting this up right now. Thank you :)

  3. I'm glad you posted this. It brings to mind a question I've had about Montessori. I don't know much about Montessori at all. Why does Montessori have practical life? Why not just have James fold clothes (or any other practical life) with you every day? When does it (if ever) switch from an educational basket to a chore?

  4. Corrie: Dr. Montessori believed children should learn how to care for others, themselves, and the environment around them - these three concepts (along with Grace and Courtesy) make up Practical Life. Regarding your second question, once the skill is mastered it becomes part of the child's routine.

  5. Great idea! Love teaching skills that will eventually save me some energy!

  6. Mari-Ann,
    it is funny how C who is 4.5 years old doesn't seem very interested in folding clothes as a practical life activity if its presented in a tray or in a basket, as much as i try to guide her to practice this activity on our home class she will not do it but when we are actually doing laundry as a chore she is such a great helper, does her own laundry (but I still need to fold her clothes) and she puts them away. The silly part is that when's i do my laundry she loves folding my clothes and also putting them away : )

    Hope baby girl is doing good and wish her an early happy birthday

  7. I have found it endlessly interesting in our house that my five year old daughter is naturally untidy, has no interest in these sorts of things. My son however from 9 months was helping to tidy and loved mirroring me when doing chores. He puts his clothes away perfectly, tidies his room and packs all puzzles pieces etc away. He's now two and gets so excited when I let him unpack the dishwasher it's adorable!


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