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Changing the sheets and making the bed



Suitable for children: 
Young girl changing her bed sheets and making her bed.

It’s time to change the sheets and make the bed. This time, you could ask your child to help you.

Where will you start? Will you ask them to take off the sheets or put the fresh, clean ones on?

As you work together, talk about what you are doing and where you will start.

We are going to start at the base and work up. Let’s put the fitted sheet on first and then we will do the quilt cover.

When we put the quilt cover on, the buttons go at the top of the quilt, closest to the pillows.

Materials you will need

  • Bed
  • Sheets
  • Quilt

Alternative tools

  • Rug
  • Blanket

Why does this matter?

As your child helps you to make the bed they are learning about measurement, spatial awareness, size and shape.

As your child helps with the bed they are hearing and following language and instructions that involve, size, direction and position. When they carefully listen to what is being said they can interpret the message and know what they have to do.

When your child helps you to make the bed they are developing their spatial awareness skills and learning to move their bodies in time with another person. As you pull the sheet up together or place the quilt inside the cover they are learning to navigate the space around the bed.

What does this lead to?

As your child helps you make the bed they are beginning to understand that they can use and move their bodies in different ways. As they stretch to pull the sheet up or pull the pillow out of the pillowcase they are learning about size, position and direction.

Developing an understanding of space helps children to move their bodies around, between and through different objects and confined spaces. When children combine movement with measurement they are able to make predictions and plan how to complete a task.

Language to use

  • Top, bottom, middle
  • Under, over, against, between
  • Layers
  • Pillow, pillowcase, sheet, fitted sheet, quilt, quilt cover, blanket, rug, cushion
  • Summer, winter
  • Position, direction
  • Rectangle, square, circle
  • Long, short, length
  • Upright, flat, tight

Questions to use

  • How many pillows do you need?
  • Will the rug go at the top or the bottom of the bed?
  • What do we put on the bed first?
  • Are the pillows flat or upright on the bed?

Useful tips

  1. Younger children will need help making the bed.
  2. If your child is younger try and keep the instructions and directions short and simple.
  3. Information about your child’s physical development can be found in their health record in the blue book.
  4. Remember to talk to your child in your home language.

More ideas

Ask your child to help spread the tablecloth out on the table.

Variation by age

Three to five year olds

  • Make play bedding for your child’s doll or teddies. They can practise making teddy’s bed.
  • Ask your child to help take the sheets off the bed.
  • Ask your child to help hang the sheets out on the line. Try and predict how much room you will need on the line and how many pegs you will use.
  • Instead of asking your child to get the quilt cover or the pillowcase, try describing the shape or colour of the object.

Questions to ask

  • How many pegs does the pillowcase need?
  • Should we put the pegs on the long side or the short side of the pillowcase?
  • Can we fit other washing on the line with the sheets?
  • What can we take off the bed first?

Language to use

  • Top, bottom
  • Full, empty
  • Long, short
  • Total, number, quantity
  • Big, little