Today I gave Otis a lesson on ironing. It was a lot of fun and something completely new to him (perhaps a novelty!).
We started with a small child-sized (travel) iron. I put it on medium heat. Low heat wasn't hot enough to remove the wrinkles. We also used a lovely fabric spray and a small table-top ironing board. It is really important that Otis is standing on the ground, he needs to be stable and balanced so that he can concentrate on his work (many ironing boards will go down to the child's level). I taught Caspar to iron with a standard size iron and it's definitely easier for the child to use and control the smaller iron.
He started by ironing some square cloth napkins. It would be easier to start with some small child size napkins and also have the child fold them neatly.
Then later he moved onto ironing some of his own shirts and pants. He did a pretty good job and it made me realise how many steps there are in ironing.
I am sure many parents wouldn't consider showing their children how to iron but along with cooking and lots of practical life experiences, it's a fabulous life skill to have! I don't iron very much (my husband irons a lot) but I consider it to be an essential skill, something we all need to know how to do.
There is also something about introducing activities with a slight element of risk (cooking with heat/skillet, chopping with a real knife) that really gives the child a sense of empowerment, accomplishment, and achievement - like they are extra proud of what they can do! My boys' classrooms haven't ever offered ironing but I love it when I see a classroom with a little iron and ironing board set up! What do you think - would you teach your children to iron?