Math Fun Around the House: Laundry

Having some math fun around the house helps kids feel comfortable and confident with math. Did you know there are ways to have math fun with laundry?

math around the houseBesides all the time in the kitchen, laundry is a never ending task with kids. Unless you are very organized and already have a system the dirty clothes will need to be sorted into lights and darks. Once the laundry is washed and dried, the clean clothes will need to be sorted. This time instead of lights and darks, the groups will be for the members of the family. Sometimes, the items will be further sorted into kinds of clothes like pants, socks, shirts, etc.

Aren’t you glad kids can help with all of this?

math around the houseSorting items into groups is a math skill. In math, this is called making sets. Generally, categorizing is an important strategy for thinking and coping with large amounts of information. As kids help, they are practicing math.

Clothes often have patterns. While sorting the laundry, you can show your child stripes, dots, checks, and other patterns. Brains are always checking for patterns because they condense information too. Some clothes might have basic shapes like circles, squares, triangles and rectangles.

letting kids help around the houseSizes are not something predetermined. They need relationships. For instance, kid socks are small but mom socks are big—sometimes. Mom socks are small and dad socks are big. When all three are used, some are small, some are medium and some are big. Pants and t-shirts will also be different sizes. These words are easier for kids to understand when the situation is so meaningful.

Speaking of socks, because there are so many, counting them can use a lot of numbers. Do you remember odd and even numbers from school? Socks definitely show kids about odd numbers.

Matching socks to make pairs is a good activity for kids. They learn about same and different as they try to find socks that make a pair.

One of the challenges for teachers is how to make learning meaningful and fun. Laundry is one way parents can make math meaningful for kids. Any laundry to math, er… wash, at your house?

Come back to the blog tomorrow for more math fun around the house.

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