Kids at the laundromat? Sure thing!
Kids and laundry don’t always mix and can make an already annoying task take even longer. However, involving your kids in doing the laundry can be an excellent way to have them contribute to your household chores and even provide a bonding experience with them.
When you take your kids to the laundromat, especially when they’re too small to help, it can be hard to know how to keep them occupied. They might be bored or agitated, and leaving them unattended can be dangerous since there are many potential hazards around. So how can you make a trip to the laundromat easier and more fun for your family?
We have some ideas to help both laundromat owners and parents make laundromats safe and welcoming places for kids, which can contribute to the community feel of your laundromat and even help raise the next generation of laundry pros!
If you’re a laundromat owner:
Taking kids into consideration when designing or renovating your laundromat can make it more inviting for families and attract new customers. It’ll mean more money in your pocket as word spreads that you have a kid-friendly place to visit. Consider making changes that will bring in a whole new generation of laundromat clients.
• Invest in industrial-sized washers and dryers
Cut down on the amount of time it takes families to get through their laundry. Industrial-sized machines can hold up to 200 pounds of laundry, while standard ones typically only hold 7-8 pounds. This is an attractive incentive for parents, even if they have in-suite machines. They’ll only need to do one or a few cycles, saving them time and money. Be sure to invest in high quality equipment so you have to do fewer repairs.
• Keep hazardous materials out of reach
If there is something to fall on, break, or eat, kids are going to find it. Unfortunately, the laundromat is full of potential dangers, especially for children.
Make sure that wires are kept out of high traffic areas, and be sure to tape down any exposed ones. Also, cover any empty plugs to protect children from electrocution. Washers and dryers with safety guards like locks can also prevent an accident, as can mounting them above the reach of smaller kids. You don’t want your laundromat to make the news for having had children crawl under machines or get trapped.
Products like laundry powder, liquid detergent, and especially pods (hello, internet challenge) should be kept out of reach, like behind the front desk or in locked compartments. All of these substances can attract curious kids and are filled with dangerous chemicals.
• Consider setting up a kids’ area
It doesn’t have to be big, but an area dedicated to entertaining kids can take a lot of stress off of you and parents. Create a small kids’ corner and make it welcoming with toys, books, and games. If you don’t have much space, you could even set up a picnic table in the middle of the laundromat where kids can sit comfortably to colour or read while still within view of their parents.
If you’re a parent:
We know how stressful it can be to take your kids to a laundromat! Not only are you trying to focus on getting your job done, but you also have to make sure your children are safe, entertained, and won’t have a temper tantrum that could throw a wrench in your laundry efforts.
• Make going to the laundromat fun
It may not seem like it, but the laundromat can actually have a lot of fun and enriching sensory experiences for kids. You could get them to sort clothes by colour and experience the difference between dry and wet clothes by helping you move them between machines. Your kids might even love watching clothes tumble around in the washer and dryer.
Plus, did you know that dryer lint can also be a fun toy for kids with lots of uses? It can be molded into different shapes and used as a bed for small stuffies or even pets like hamsters and guinea pigs!
• Be positive
Ok, going to the laundromat might not be your favourite activity. But if you’re dreading the experience, your kids will pick up on this. Try to keep a positive and excited attitude about your laundromat experience. You can make laundry day a special one for your kids by bringing along their favourite snacks, playing fun games, or going out for a treat after.
• Pack carefully
You want to make sure you have everything you need for the laundromat before you go. This way, you won’t have to run home for a forgotten product or return to the laundromat later to finish off the task. Double check that you have your coins or laundry card, cleaning supplies, and of course, your loads of laundry. If you’ve pre-treated stains and sorted your loads beforehand, it’ll make the laundromat experience even smoother.
In addition to some of their favourite activities, it’s also a good idea to bring along any medications your child might need, like an inhaler or EpiPen. Laundromats are filled with scents that may feel overwhelming, or expose your child to allergens. While it’s unlikely that anything serious will happen, it’s always good to come prepared.
• Get them involved
Don’t forget that your kids can and should be involved in the process of doing laundry, at an age-appropriate level. Consider what tasks you can assign them to keep them busy helping you, which means you’ll all get out of the laundromat sooner.
Small kids might not be very involved, but can still help to sort laundry, match socks, or move loads between machines. Older kids can learn to sort and fold their own items, or even provide you with an extra set of hands to tackle larger items like sheets and blankets. Hey, they’re probably responsible for most of the dirty laundry, so make sure they help you get it clean!
The laundromat doesn’t have to be a miserable experience for kids. Instead, make it fun and introduce opportunities for them to learn and take on new tasks. Laundromat owners can help make their facilities a welcoming place for families with just a few minor tweaks to improve safety and offer spaces for children to play.
If you’re looking to upgrade your laundry equipment or improve safety standards at your laundromat, contact Coronet Equipment to find out more about our wide variety of vended and industrial laundry machines.
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