School holidays provide an opportunity for parents and children to see and do lots of exciting things together. The necessities of everyday life and household chores still continue, including the inevitable laundry chores. Encouraging my children to assist me with these chores is a great way to interact with them and still enjoy the holidays, while also teaching them important life skills.
Here are 10 ways your children can help you with the laundry these holidays, with your supervision:
Carry the laundry bag or laundry basket. Even young children can help with carrying the basket or bag of clothes to be washed. My kids help me by carrying our laundry bag from home to the car, from the car into the Laundromat, from the washers to the dryers – and then back home! The empty laundry basket inevitably then gets turned into a ‘boat’ or similar during play time at the laundry.
Loading clothes into the washing machine. If your kids can access the door to the washing machine, then they will love placing clothes into the machine. I set challenges for my daughters at the laundromat where they need to load darks in one machine, whites in one, linen/towels in another. I also like to educate them about the different types of fabric, and what makes some clothing items ‘delicate’, so should be washed separately and gently.
Pressing the machine buttons. Children love to press buttons, and this seems to be my children’s favourite part of helping with the laundry. With your supervision, they can select the correct water temperature, cycle and the all important ‘Start’ button.
Remind you of the remaining washing time. If your washing machine displays the remaining time, your kids will love to attempt to read this and make regular announcements. It’s a fun way for them to learn more about numbers and the meaning of time.
Tell you when the washing is complete. Kids seem more in tune to the beeps and noises of a washing machine. My daughter loves to announce to me that the washing is finished!
Moving clothes to the dryers. When I use the dryer, I ask my kids to help me take the washed clothes from the washing machines over to the dryers. We talk about the most efficient way to dry, based on what we have washed.
Hanging clothes on the air dryer. As long as they can reach, even young kids will enjoy hanging wet clothes to dry on an air dryer, especially their own clothes.
Sorting the dried clothes. If your kids enjoy puzzles, then they will enjoy sorting the clean clothes into the relevant piles for each family member. You’ll find this results in the inevitable comments and jokes about daddy’s undies or mummy’s bras.
Fun Folding. Folding the clothes is a great way to spend time and chat with your kids. I love the random conversations that we have while folding the clothes. It’s also an opportunity to teach them about how to fold their clothes neatly and how to look after them.
Putting their clothes away. My kids are responsible for putting their own clothes away in their wardrobes. I let then choose what goes where in their wardrobes. It’s a surprisingly easy way to ensure they keep their wardrobe neat and tidy, as they feel responsible for that part of their room.
My daughter suffers from sensitive skin allergies, so I am always on the lookout for clothing and products that are organic with gentle, hypoallergenic qualities. I love to see that bamboo blends are growing in popularity in Australia, offering a wide range of benefits and organic solutions for clothing, linen and towels.
In addition to its strength and softness, bamboo is an eco-friendly fibre with natural anti-bacterial qualities and gentle for those with sensitive skin. Not only that, bamboo is supremely soft and silky to the touch, it is breathable and thermo-regulating, and very absorbent. Its natural qualities do not irritate the sensitive skin on my daughter.
Bamboo and the environment
As most of us are all trying to consider the impact we have on the environment, the ‘eco advantages’ and environmental sustainability of bamboo textiles are also key reasons why I love using bamboo blends –
Sustainable. Bamboo is one of the fastest growing plants in the world. Once harvested, bamboo can replenish itself within a year, and grows quickly. It is a naturally resilient plant, which does not need fertilisers to boost its growth, or pesticides since bamboo is naturally pest-resistant.
Eco Friendly. Bamboo requires no chemicals and very little water to grow, and absorbs more carbon dioxide from the air than either cotton or timber. It also releases more oxygen into the environment which improves air quality.
Biodegradable. Bamboo is 100% natural and biodegradable which gives conscientious consumers real peace of mind.
Bamboo at the laundry
So, how do you care for and launder clothing, linen and towels made from bamboo blends? I’ve found this to be really easy, especially at Snap Laundromat where our service provides the perfect wash for organic blends –
Use Mild detergent. Remember that less detergent is actually more! Many Australians over-suds their washing, making clothes stiff, and cause a build up of mould and mildew. At Snap, we installed an automatic dosing system which automatically injects high quality detergent into the machines with every wash. You only need a small amount of good quality detergent to experience the perfect wash.
Try Warm machine wash. Warm water helps break up any body oils absorbed during use, and also opens up the fibres so that they are absorbent during wear. Check the care instructions on your garments prior to washing, as some blends will prefer cold water wash. All our Dexter front loader washing machines at Snap allow you to select a cold or warm water wash, perfect for organic blends.
Avoid fabric softeners and bleach. Due to my daughter’s skin sensitivities, I long ago tossed out the fabric softener and bleach. I believe that there is no reason to expose yourself (or your natural textiles) to the chemicals in softeners when natural alternatives exist. Not only are they safer for you, your family and the environment, but they’re much more economical too. At Snap, you can add natural alternatives to your washing in the front loaders through the funnel at the top of each machine. You can –
Add a quarter cup of baking soda to wash cycle to soften fabric, or
Add a quarter cup of white vinegar to rinse to soften fabric and eliminate cling, or
Check out your local health food store for a natural fabric softener that uses a natural base like soy instead of chemicals.
Tumble dry. You can tumble dry bamboo clothing, linen and towels on a low setting. Tumble drying generally improves the absorbency of bamboo based towels, but it is important to not over dry them as this will make them feel harsh and crunchy. Our dryers at Snap allow for drying on a low setting, and you can open the dryers at any time during their cycle to check your garments.
When cared for correctly, bamboo based textiles will last for years to come, providing an excellent organic and durable alternative for clothing, bedding and towels.
We’d like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas! Thank you for all of the support we have received from the community and our customers since we renovated the laundromat on Whitmore Street this year. We hope you all enjoy some merry times with your family and friends.
Our laundry at Taringa remains open every day during the holidays, 24/7.
Snap Laundromat, Taringa provided a unique and interesting location for Collusion Music’s latest photo shoot.
Collusion Music is an ensemble delivering beautifully articulated chamber music and chamber ballet. These internationally-trained musicians and dancers, including clarinetist/saxophonist Diana Tolmie, cellist Danielle Bentley, violinist/violist Benjamin Greaves, Composer in Residence Susan Hawkins, and Resident Choreographer Gareth Belling brought their instruments, costumes and creativity to Snap’s backdrop of stainless steel machines & bright colours.
Customers and residents of Whitmore Street were treated to visions of cellos, clarinets, violins, musicians and dancers striking stylish poses at the laundromat.
It felt like a Hollywood movie set with makeup artists, dressing rooms and refreshments bar (including champagne!) for the artists.
Collusion Music is in Residence at Griffith University Queensland Conservatorium, and will be supported by the Queensland Government for their 2014 program. For more details about this amazing group, view their website at www.collusion.com.au
Michelle & Ian, the owners of Snap Laundromat wish to extend a big thank you to their customers, to Place of Stones restaurant for serving delicious coffee & breakfast on a busy Sunday morning, and of course to Collusion Music for selecting the Laundromat for their photo shoot.
Here are some of the 2014 season posters. Other images are available in our gallery on the website.
Snap Laundromat is located 69 Westerham Street Taringa in beautiful Brisbane, and open everyday 24/7. Visit the website for details www.snaplaundromat.com.au