Learning and Laundry Part 2

calendarMay 8 2020

Hanging up the washing

Would you believe that emptying the washing machine and hanging up washing can be a learning opportunity? Here’s how……….

Lockdown pressures

In these days of lock down we are trying to juggle being a parent, housework, our day job and teaching our Special Needs kids at home!

But there are lessons all around the house!

Remember, you cannot turn your home into a replica of the classroom. Trying to do so will just make you feel like a failure. Instead of creating a formal learning environment and getting frustrated because your child is getting distracted, you can teach through everyday activities. Finding the learning in simple tasks, hides the teaching from kids who are resistant to ‘lessons’. It can show you that you ARE doing your job as a parent well AND gets your household jobs done at the same time!

Learning and Laundry Part 2!

Yes, you can use hanging up washed clothes to teach Maths, English, Science, PSHE and more !! Kids won’t even notice they are learning and they will be helping you too!

An image of a pile of pegs on the floor.
Doing the laundry can be a learning opportunity AND a help!

Hanging clothes up, let’s make it a learning experience !!

The ideas below should give you some thoughts on how to teach your child Maths, English, Science, PSHE and whilst learning some vital life skills, in this case hanging up clothes!

Now your clothes are all clean it is time to hang them up to dry (if you are like the team we do at least a load a day!!!). So let’s not make a it chore, let’s get LEARNING!

An image of two piles of washing sorted into whites and dark colours.
Sorting washing into colours is a great learning opportunity!

Before you start

For this task you need wet clean clothes.

Just do a little at a time

Don’t forget, when we are teaching our special needs kids at home, we just try one idea at a time. Trying to turn everything into a lesson all at once will just stress you out and your child will protest! Once you get started, it will become natural and you will start to see opportunities for learning in everything you do!

Learning and Laundry

ActivityArea Learning ideas

When the washing has finishedCounting


Count the clean washing out of the machine into the basket. Have you got the same number of socks?

Adjectives – Describe how the clothes feel

Weigh the washing on scales
If you weighed the clothes before you washed them, subtract the amount the clothes weighed before the clothes were washed from the amount they weigh now and then discuss why they weigh more (they absorbed water). You can also weigh the clean clothes once they are dried. Do they weigh the same as when they were dirty? Why?
Hanging up the washingMaths – doublingHow many pegs do you need for each item of clothing? You can count out some clothes – e.g. 2 items or 3 items and ask – how many pegs do you need? This way you practice 2x tables.
Hanging up the washing Maths – estimate and measure

Team work

Literacy – adjectives and descriptive language
(Estimate) How tall do you think the washing line is ?
(Estimate) How wide do you think the is the washing line ?
Measure how tall the line is
Measure how wide the line is
If you don’t have a tape measure or can’t read one, you can measure using anything else; the number of hand spans, or even a toy car lengths!
Compare your estimate and the actual height and widths were correct.

Hang up the washing together
-Describe the clean laundry (wrinkled, fresh, bright)
-Make up a fun story that might how the clothes feel about getting clean and been in the washing machine (scary, confusing, dizzy, exciting)

Carrying the washing basketHealth and Safety

Show your child the correct way to carry the washing basket.

Count the number of steps to the washing line.

Collecting the laundryTime

Time how long it takes to hang up the washing
Time how long it takes to dry the washing (you could also check and see how different clothes dry at a different rate)

We hope this gives you a few ideas. We will be doing hanging out the washing next! If you need any help you please post in our Education Forum here.

Please leave a comment below! Tell us how you got on or what ideas you have for teaching Special Needs kids at home!

About Us

Emma Bara has taught about environmental topics and science for years, running whole school education projects, teacher training, science clubs for primary school kids and GCSE Science tutoring. David Bara has years of experience as a SEN teacher and Senior Lecturer of Special Educational Needs. They are the Co-Founders of

A selfie image of David and Emma Bara. There are trees in the background.
David and Emma Bara

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