Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Role Play Laundry Toys ~ Homemade

Through role play children get the opportunity to be someone or something else. Role play develops imagination, social skills and language. It is how young children learn best and make sense of the world in which they live. There are lots of store bought toys to encourage children to role play and we are lucky to own some, like our toy kitchen, however, you do not need store bought toys to role play! The imagination and creativity can be enhanced when using old boxes and household items in play!
I choose laundry theme as it provided a lot of opportunities to work with Hman on some skills I have been focusing on with him.
The LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES I wanted to develop through his play were:
Expressive Language
Fine Motor ~importantly using two hands together
Matching similarities

To Make
I used an old wipes box that had a double fold lid. I cut a circle in the inner lid to fit a plastic bowl and taped the bowl inside. I then taped the inner lid shut. With the outer lid (the washing machine door) I cut a circle and used some clear cellophane to cover. I then added some milk bottle lids as on/off knobs. To be honest, I could of spent a lot more time and made it 'pretty' and 'perfect' but my children don't notice these things and thought I did a fantastic job lol! I used an old tea bag box as the washing powder box and made a mini washing line using another old box and some pipe cleaners. Hopefully you can get a good idea at how easy it was from the pictures.

The words I will highlight are the main words I was encouraging Hman to attempt and use.
Your child can open the washing machine door and put the 'dirty' washing in. Then add some washing powder using the scoop. You could use some paper confetti at this point. Scoop and tip!
Shut the door and turn the machine on!
Ask you child what sound does a washing machine make?
Make the sounds of the machine filling with water woossshhhh!
Of the machine spinning around washing brrrrrrrrrrrrrr!
Turn the machine off and open the door. Take out the clean clothes.
Now it's time to hang them out to dry.

This is a pic I snapped of Miss M as she couldn't resist the fun and I didn't take any pics whilst playing with Hman as I wanted to be %100 present.
This is where the fine motor development comes into the play. Have your child hang out the washing on the line. You could use pegs if you think your child is ready however, I knew Hman would become easily frustrated and likely lose interest if I made it so challenging he couldn't succeed. There's still a lot of concentration and hard work involved in getting those socks hung out!

I choose socks for this play for a couple reasons. 1. They are small enough to fit. 2. I had a lot of baby socks spare that none of my babies now fit :( and 3. They are often brightly coloured or patterned and are the perfect item for matching. Once the socks are dry, take them off the line. Now it's time to match them into pairs! Can your toddler find the correct matching pair?? Matching is an important early mathematical skill.
A great little book to extend on this play is A Pair of Socks
Sing, This is the way we wash the socks, dry the socks, match the socks.
Play and Learn


  1. Katey this is brilliant! I love that it is simple, child sized and although I think it's very attractive it doesn't have unnecessary bells and whistles! Thanks for sharing this because I'm going to give it a try with my girls.. they love doing the real deal so having their own mini version will be fabulous! :)

  2. I love this sooooo much. Such a clever idea and I know that my little girl would love it too. I need to make this. Thanks for the inspiration.

  3. What a great idea! My girls love role playing and would love this! They always try to help me when I do the washing so I know they would enjoy playing make believe when there's no real washing to do!