Instant Child-Sized Laundry Line

Most of the wet laundry is out on the line after lunch time here, dancing in the wind. It's my afternoon ritual to bring the day's washing outside and hang it on the clothesline beside the house.

When they were younger the kids had a small clothesline set low to the ground. I even made them their own clothespin bag with a few rectangles of cotton and an old hanger. But that clothesline is long gone. Lupine can't even remember that we ever had it.


Yesterday Lupine was playing around my feet while I hung out the wet clothes. She suddenly pleaded, "Mama, would you please, please, please make me my own tiny clothesline so that I can hang up my own laundry? Today?"

What could I say? No was not an option. So I said, "Yes. Of course, you can have your own laundry line today."

No supplies on hand, no plan, and one heaping basket of wet laundry at my feet, we ducked into the garage. It is such a mess right now that I couldn't even find the garden twine. (Really.) I spied a tomato cage and announced, "Oh! The Tiny Clothesline Frame! It goes here – in the garden. Follow me!" 

I wasn't sure she'd buy it.


We stepped into the garden and I pushed it into the ground. I hung her
clothespin bag (discovered in the garage while searching for twine)
from an old piece of string still tied to the frame. She beamed. She
absolutely beamed.





She quickly set to work hanging all of her laundry on her new "clothesline".

After her little basket was empty she walked up and down beneath my line, requesting all the items of hers I had already hung up. 

By the end she was naked. She stripped down and hung the clothes she was wearing beside the wet ones. After they were dry she loading them into her little basket and brought them inside. 

And then my heart melted.


16 thoughts on “Instant Child-Sized Laundry Line

  1. Kim V. says:

    What a sweet story! And I love the improvising; it’s an necessary mama-skill.

    We are waiting for the sun to come out so we can go on a walk to gather dandelion flowers to make fritters! What a great idea.

  2. Rachel Wolf says:

    Thank you, Kim! Shes working on more laundry as I type this. Folding the basket-full from yesterday. They learn so much through imitation… Enjoy your fritters!

  3. denise says:

    Oh, sweet! We are not allowed to have a clothesline here, but I put out drying racks on the deck…the boys have their own little ladybug clothespins and always hang their wet stuff on it. We use the rack when we tie dye and dye silks too. Such a great idea to use a tomato cage…and sweet little girl.

  4. Lori Beske says:

    WONDERFUL!! You are so creative – i’m so not. We, as well, are not allowed to have cloths lines (rules of the subdivision we live in) but if we could I would be dancing in the yard.

  5. denise says:

    Nope. And when a whole group in our neighborhood went to request the HOA board change the rules to allow them (because we are after all, a ‘green built neighborhood’ based on new urbanism, etc. and so banning clotheslines is hypocritical) and they said NO.

  6. Emmy says:

    Fantastic idea! Very resourceful of you. I love when little people busy themselves with big people work. Makes the work too darn cute! I’ll have to remember the tomato cage clothes line in a year or two.

  7. Susan says:

    Awesome job! Hanging up laundry is a favorite thing for my little gal, too. She’s not even two yet and still can’t pinch the clothespins to open them, but she learned all by herself that she can pin up clothes by turning the clothespins upside-down and slipping them on. My lower clothes lines are no longer the obsessively neat and tidy row of socks and baby clothes they used to be… and I love, love, love it.

  8. Rachel Wolf says:

    I so remember Lupine at 1 1/2 turning the pins upside down to hang laundry with me. So very sweet. Its fun when we shed our OCD layers, isnt it? 😉

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