Many adults dread laundry day, but my young kids love it! While it’s another task that we struggle to find time to complete, young kids delight in the opportunity to load clothes into the washing machine, move those washed clothes to the dryer, and push the buttons to start the washer and dryer (my kids’ favorite).
Even more, they love playing with cardboard boxes, so I turned two big boxes into a laundry day pretend play activity.
This post contains affiliate links. See my Disclosure Policy for details.
I am grateful to have my kids help with the laundry. Keeping up with the laundry of five people is a big job! Learning real life skills is very important to development.
Just as important, is giving them opportunity to pretend and explore how it works independent of you. Children learn best by imagining and doing. Through pretend play, kids are learning to work together and to problem solve. They are exploring how the world works. Check out 20 ways kids can engage in pretend play here (many of them require little to no set up from you).
Supplies for a Pretend Play Washer & Dryer:
- large cardboard boxes
- 2 Large recycled lids & 4 small recycled lids (we used 2 peanut butter lids and 4 milk jug lids)
- Maker (I used a white chalk marker)
- Cork (save from wine bottles or purchase craft corks)
- Glue Gun
- Utility Knife
- Small basket (found one at the Dollar Tree)
How to Make a Pretend Play Washer & Dryer
- Using a glue gun, attach milk jug lids for the power and start buttons. Use a marker to label them start and finish.
- Use a glue fun to attach a peanut butter lid (or similar size) for the setting dial.
- Draw a large circle on the middle of each box. I used one of my large mixing bowls to trace a circle in the middle of each box.
- Cut out the circle leaving about 1/4 of it intact so it swings open like a door.
- Cut a cork in 1/2 and attach to the cut out circle door for a knob using a glue gun.
I gave the kids a little basket I had picked up at the Dollar Tree for this apple sorting activity. This basket is the perfect size for little ones. My daughter quickly went and grabbed her baby doll clothes and blankets and started filling up the washer.
We also stacked the washer and dryer to make it easier for our kindergartner.
All our kids love playing with boxes! We joke that we should skip the toys and just wrap up big boxes. They have already found a few more uses for this boxes such as a dog house and hideout.
You also might enjoy: