how to fold clothes

This practical life activity is designed for 3-6-year old children to teach them how to fold clothes

Folding clothes is a wonderful Montessori practical life activity that helps in building independence, confidence, and fine motor skills.

It also develops children’s muscular control and provides a lesson in exactness and rigor, laying the foundation for later geometry work.

Aim of folding clothes activity

Teaching a life skill that promotes independence by folding clothes and doing daily household chores.

 Benefits of folding clothes activity

  • It helps children to fold their clothes and lend hands in daily household chores.
  • It promotes independence by the folding of clothes and other such items.
  • It develops the muscular control of the fingers and training inexactness.
  • It prepares the child for geometry by subconscious absorption of the folding lines.

How do children learn to fold clothes in Montessori?

In a Montessori classroom, children learn how to fold clothes using different lines marked on the cloth sheets of material along distinct lines. 

The child learns how to fold correctly, tracing down the line, and folding precisely on the line.

This video helps the child learn the art of folding 4 cloth squares with the following methods:

1: Folding together with a single medium line

2: Folding together with a double medium line

3: Folding together with a diagonal line

4: Folding together with a double diagonal line

Control of Error

The perfect folding of clothes by folding on the sewed lines. 

How to introduce the folding clothes activity to the child?

This activity is conducted in four parts.

Part 1: Folding a cloth with one medium line

  1. Invite the child to the table and tell them today, we are going to learn how to fold clothes.
  2. Ask the child, “can you see this black line in the middle of the cloth”.
  3. Let the child answer yes.
  4. Now, place your right index finger on the top of the bottom right corner and your right thumb under the cloth so that it is under your right index finger.
  5. Pinch both fingers and lift slightly.
  6. Place your left index finger next to your right index finger and your left thumb next to your right.
  7. Gently pinch your two left fingers together and slide them along the bottom edge of the cloth in the bottom left corner.
  8. Bring the pinched corners to the top corners of the cloth and fold the cloth in half.
  9. Now remove the fingers and tell the child this is how we make the first fold.
  10. Ask the child to try.

Part 2: Folding a cloth with a double medium line

This part is a continuation of part 1.

  1. Show the child two lines (one vertical and one horizontal) marked on the cloth.
  2. Ask the child to fold the cloth as we have done previously.
  3. Once the child makes the first fold, tell them that we are going to repeat steps 4-9 in part one to make the second fold. 
  4. Lift your right index finger and then lift your right thumb and place them on what is now the bottom left corner.
  5. Place two right fingers next to your two left and slide right along the bottom to the right corner.
  6. Lift your two right fingers off of the cloth and then your two left.
  7. Tell the child this is how we make the second fold.
  8. Invite the child to try.

Once the child has successfully folded and unfolded the cloth, tell them to place it at the top left of his table next to the other clothes. 

Part 3: Folding the cloth diagonally

This part is a variation on part one where we fol fold the cloth diagonally.

  1. Invite the child to the table, and tell them that today we are going to fold this cloth diagonally.
  2. Ask the child, “Can you see the line joining the top left corner and bottom right corner? We are going to fold this cloth diagonally.”
  3. Now pinch the bottom left corner and bring it closer to the top right corner.
  4. Make sure the corners line up as closely as possible.
  5. Firmly press the cloth diagonally so that the cloth doesn’t unfold itself.
  6. Tell the child this is how we fold the cloth.
  7. Invite the child to try.

Part 4: Folding the cloth with a double diagonal line

This part is a continuation of part 3.

  1. Show the child two diagonal lines crossing each other at the center marked on the cloth.
  2. Ask the child to fold the cloth diagonally, as we have done previously in part 3.
  3. Once the child makes the first fold, tell them we are going to repeat steps 4-6 in part three to make the second fold. 
  4. Lift your right index finger and pinch the bottom right corner.
  5. Move the cloth upward by following the line and joining it in the top left corner.
  6. Firmly press the cloth diagonally so that the cloth doesn’t unfold itself.
  7. Tell the child, this is how we make the second fold.
  8. Invite the child to try.

Once the child has successfully folded and unfolded the cloth, tell them to place it at the top left of their their table next to the other clothes. 

Watch the video to learn how to fold clothes and instill a sense of independence by doing daily chores of life.


Related practical life skills activity

To watch more practical life videos, click here.

Video Created by: Strykun Olena


 


Tags

  • english language
  • montessori
  • Montessori at home
  • Practical Life
  • primary level