Little New-Yorkers Projects for Kids: Laundry Day

Laundry Day cover

Each week in Little New-Yorkers we explore the theme of New York with our littlest historians. In October we were inspired by Maurie J. Manning’s Laundry Day and created clothesline necklaces with cut cloth pieces. We explored how diverse New York City is through this beautiful book, set in the Lower East Side. It follows a little shoeshine boy surprised by a piece of red silk that falls from the sky. While trying to find its owner he meets all the people who lived in the tenement, climbing up the balconies and balancing on the clothesline. This gorgeous story not only introduces children to different cultures, but it also teaches them foreign words and phrases.

After reading the book we made our very own necklaces based on the clothesline that the boy climbs across. You can make one too!

You’ll need pieces of fabric – we used felt but any fabric pieces will do. You’ll also need scissors, string, and a hole punch.

What you'll need

How to make your clothesline:

1. Choose the different fabrics with your child.Step 2
2. Carefully cut out clothing shapes. Easy shapes include squares for bed sheets or triangles for skirts, but encourage your child to try cutting out shirts with sleeves, or pants.
3. Add one or two holes to each piece of laundry. If you don’t have a hole punch, you can cut the holes using scissors.
Step 3
4. Once you have all your pieces of laundry, start stringing them together. Leave a long piece at the beginning as this will go around the back of your neck.

Step 4
5. Add a little knot between the pieces to keep them from bunching up together.

Step 5
6. Leave a long piece of string at the other end too.
7. Tie the two end pieces together to create a necklace.

Step 7

Here are some pictures of necklaces made by our little New-Yorkers.

Example 1

Example 2

Join us each week for a fun and creative project, inspired by this great city!

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This is a clubhouse blog for kids who love history! It is created by the staff of the DiMenna Children’s History Museum and New-York Historical Society.
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