Are you thinking of paying a babysitter just so that you don't have to take your kids to the laundromat? Don't worry. It doesn't have to be that way! Going to a laundromat, like South Street Laundromat, can be a lot more fun when you have a plan to entertain the kids from the start of the washing machine to the moment you are walking out the door with warm, dry clothes.
Give Job Names to Little Helpers
Young children are eager to be helpers and please parents, and that is true even when it comes to chores like laundry. Slightly older kids will get in on the fun, too, when you give them incentives like fun job names. Try these out for size:
- Executive Folder of Clothes
- Guard of the Clothing
- Official Laundry Supervisor
- Doctor of Wrinkled Clothes
Give duties to each child according to their title. Play around with it and have fun with coming up with other names. Kids may even want to create their own job title and assign themselves duties.
Provide Extra Credit for Creativity
Offer your kids rewards for doing things like completing a drawing of a specific item that you name or writing a paragraph that finishes a short story that you start telling them. Give every child who completes the task a prize such as one of the quarters that you got for laundry or the chance to get ice cream or another sweet treat on the way home from the laundromat.
Play a game similar to "Simon Says" in which you encourage kids to watch what you do and follow it exactly. This can come in handy when it's time to load, transfer, or unload laundry. Kids can handle the clothes exactly as you do. Allow the children who are able to play the game for a whole minute or two to choose a board game at home that night or offer another incentive.
What Not to Do
Although you may want to let your kids burn off energy at the laundromat, the relatively small quarters and the possibility of several strangers mean that your kids should never run around the laundromat. Although they may want to play tag or chase one another, say no to all sports and games that require a lot of movement. Also, games that require loud outburst like charades are best left for playing at home after the laundry is done.
Finally, keep in mind that not all kids will respond to all entertainment options. It's okay to go for trial and error as you figure out what works for your family. You may want to start your own list and create new games and traditions for laundry day that help keep you sane by ensuring your kids are entertained.