5 Tips to Slay Your Mountain of Laundry and Not Lose Your Mind

Are there piles of laundry on your bed waiting to folded and put away? Are there piles of clothes oozing out of the hamper, and spewing onto the floor of the laundry room?

You are not alone!

As a busy mom to 4 kids twelve and under two of them being boys I know oh ‘to well the daily maintenance that is required in order to not drown in “mount clothes”.

Get your kids to help! Yes, they are completely capable even our 5 year-old is expected to do his share, and help with the laundry monster.

Here’s how I get my kids to do laundry without whining or complaining.

Our boys (5 & 7) help separate laundry into the appropriate hampers, and help transfer wet clothes to the dryers. They have also been instructed on “how to” load dirty clothes into the washer, fill the soap dispenser, and hit “start”.

You would be amazed at how well they do, and how excited they get when they get to help mom. It may only be saving me a couple minutes (switching loads, etc. ) but, minutes add up to hours.

Our girls (9 and 12) are expected to do a bit more. I will also add, we do not give our children a weekly allowance.

But, we do have “chore cards”. When a child is asked to preform a specific task; usually for the girls it is folding and putting away a load of laundry – I,

1) Ask “said child” to perform the chores (once they have been properly instructed on how to do so)

2) If “said child” is available, willing, and able he/she will do the chore when asked without whining or complaining

3) Mom inspects the work of “said child”, and signs off on their “chore card”

4) After a child has filled their chore card they may redeem their card for a $10 “pay day

5) Everyone wins!

More Laundry Slaying Tips From One Busy Family to Another…

I wash ALL of my kids clothes together – I know, gasp? Take a deep breath – yes, I do not separate my kids clothes.

Most of their clothes have been washed countless times, and for the most part fall under the category of “lights/darks”. If there is a particular outfit that requires special care then, I will set it aside and treat appropriately. But, for the most part 99% of our kids’ clothes are washed together in one to two giant loads.

Our kids have a large community hamper located in their bathroom. At the end of the day all clothes are to make their way to the community hamper (and, not to be placed on the floor) or, mom is likely to get angry.

We also have a separated hamper system (lights, whites, and darks) located in our master bedroom. The separated system helps me recognize the clothes that may need to be pulled for stain treatment and/or special temperature care.

Fold clothes as they come out of the dryer. Handle once, not twice! There are few better things on a cold winter day then, folding warm clothes. Remember wanting to snuggle in the basket as a kid?

Over the years I have tried to limit the “amount” of clothes that come into the house as well. If there are only so many clothes to choose from then, the loads of laundry are that much more manageable. Think about it, if you have enough pants that you don’t need to do laundry, but once a month – what in the world would that laundry mountain look like – huge, right?

Fewer clothes, means a more manageable mountain.

And, lastly having a “family closet” is pretty much amazing! If you can figure out “how” or “where” to put one – do it! Gone are the days of running around, and putting clothes away in six different locations. Once our clothes are washed, dried, and folded – into the family closet they go. I will share more on this system soon, but for now if you don’t I have one already – I would start thinking of where you may put one.

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How to Make Salt Dough Fossils

How To Make Salt Dough FossilsI have wanted to make salt dough fossils for quite sometime. We are currently studying ‘Flying Creatures’ for science and making nature fossils seemed to be a perfect fit. I also teach at a local homeschool co-op once a week and we made this same salt dough recipe in class – 3 batches of salt dough later I think I have mastered the recipe and wanted to share it with you!

It is easy to work with, rolls out great, bakes up nicely, and provided hours of entertainment for many little people. Speaking of entertainment, did you make our best ever play-doh? We are due to make another batch soon. In the summer months we like to take our dough experiences outdoors for a messy, hands on, multi-sensory learning experience.

Whether you are looking to make nature fossils, cute baby foot print momentos, or ornaments – this recipe will surely be a hit for the whole family.

My head is already spinning with ideas. After all, Mothers day is just around the corner…I’m thinking a layered handprint casting is on order at My Happy Homestead stay tune for more!

How to Make Salt Dough

How to Make Salt Dough Fossils

How to Make Salt Dough Fossils

Ingredients

  • 4 Cups of flour
  • 1 Cup of Salt
  • 1-2 Cups of Water {depending on the humidity in the air - we used approx. 1 3/4 C}

Instructions

  1. Measure dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Gradually add water to dry mixture.
  3. Mix with hands {it's just more fun that way} and it assures the perfect consistency. When it feel slightly moist {not dry} and not too sticky you're good to go.
  4. Roll or Pat out dough to approx 1/4in thickness. Use cookie cutters, knives, etc. for your idea shape. Press nature, hands, thumb prints, and small objects in dough until desired imprint is achieved. Careful to not push too hard and puncture the dough.
  5. Bake at 325 degrees on parchment lined cookie sheet for 2 hours
  6. Let cool. Paint with Acrylic Paint {we used water colors paint that worked too}
  7. Seal with Modge Podge.
https://jennyirvine.com/make-salt-dough-fossils/

How To Make Salt Dough Fossils-2

 

Best No Cook Play-Doh a Multi-Sensory Learning Experience

 

Best Ever No Cook Play Doh, Play-Doh DIY Recipe- Approved by mom and easy enough for kids to make themselves - get your kids in the kitchen and start creating After years of buying store bought play-doh, and many play-doh recipe failures. I think we have officially stumbled across the best no cook play-doh recipe ever. We use play-doh both during read loud time and for busy bin free play.

 

I have found when children are able to keep their hands busy during read aloud time they are more likely to pay attention with their ears and less likely to want to speak over me; thus, making our time together much more enjoyable and productive.

While play-doh can be messy at times – it is still my preferred messy, fun activity {especially over glitter glue..}   Play-doh is great for fine motor development. The malleable properties make it an excellent choice for building hand strength and pre-writing development. It can be squashed, rolled, chopped, poked, and shredded allowing for hours of endless imaginary play.

Check out just some of the creations our kids created in our time together this week. Everything from play-doh pizza’s, ‘sugar’ cookies, to snakes, snails, and turtles –

Best No Cook Play-Doh a Multi-Sensory Learning Experience Want to make their open ended play-doh play time even more exciting? With a few simple supplies you can create an expansive play-doh tool box at a minimal cost. Here are some of the play-doh tools in our box;

    • small toys {dinosaurs, fish, farm animals}
    • straws
    • rolling pins
    • egg cartons
    • sea shells
    • buttons
    • plastic letters and numbers
    • popsicle sticks
    • plastic spoons, forks, and knives {you can omit this of coarse…our kids are a bit older now so I am comfortable with their ability to use them safely}
    • plates/bowls

 

Each of our children are typically given a tray with their selected dough color {they are encouraged to share}. I then, place a ‘tool box’ of supplies in the middle of the table for community use. They play and I read to them. When you add open ended play items to their dough experience the imaginations explode. {Encouraging them to create things they hear in the story is also another great way to ‘test’ their listening and comprehension.}

Want a multi-sensory experience? Flavor up your dough by adding any of these –

  • pumpkin spice
  • cinnamon
  • essential oils
  • ginger
  • oregano

Make it pink, blue, and yellow too…we use plain old food dye but, you can try any of these too I’m sure with an equally good result…

 

Add some texture –

  • rice
  • sand
  • glitter
  • tiny pasta
  • sequins
  • pebbles

Want to try the recipe we use?

Best Ever Play-Doh Recipe

The Best Ever Play-Doh Recipe

The Best Ever Play-Doh Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 Cups of Flour {I have also used gluten free}
  • 1/2 C Cold Water
  • 1/2 C Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Oil
  • Food Coloring or Powdered Paint

Instructions

  1. Mix all ingredients in the bowl {with hands. Keep kneading until it is just the way you want it. Too dry? Add a little more Oil. Too sticky? Add a tablespoon of flour until it feels perfect. You will now add any additional texture items or spices to your play-doh. Store in an air tight container or zip-lock bag for future use.
https://jennyirvine.com/best-ever-no-cook-play-doh/

Be sure to visit our Kids in the Kitchen page for ‘live’ demonstrations, kid friendly recipes, more mess, and lots of fun. Never miss a thing from My Happy Homestead sign up to get “The Homestead Daily” Free to your in box.

Best No Cook Play-Doh a Multi-Sensory Learning Experience