How to Make a Bed
When it comes to making a bed tight enough to bounce a quarter on, who better to turn to for advice than a military man? Jason Harder, who serves in the Air National Guard (and was stationed in Iraq when we went to press), taught his daughters, Emma and Phoebe, how to make an inspection-worthy bed by the time they were 5.
Stand on one side of the bed, and have your child stand across from you on the other side. If the sheet and blanket have been kicked out at the foot of the bed during the night, you and your child should tuck them back under the mattress.
Each of you should then grab a top corner of the top sheet (and blanket, if you use one) and, working in tandem, pull it up to the head of the bed. If one side remains uneven, ask your child to pull it higher. Smooth out any wrinkles, then show him how to fold the top of the sheet (and blanket) back about a foot.
Bedmaking is pretty subjective. If you don't bother with hospital corners, skip to Step 4. If you'd like to try the corners with your child, here goes:
- Stand with your child on one side, near the foot of the bed. Pick up the edge of the sheet about 12 inches from the end of the bed, and lift it up until the part of the sheet that's hanging down forms a rough triangle. While you're holding the sheet up, have your child tuck the bottom corner of the triangle tightly under the mattress.
- Now drop the corner you've been holding and tuck that tightly under the mattress — you should have a neat 45-degree fold (an angled "pocket").
- Repeat at the opposite corner.
Tightly tuck in the remaining part of the sheet along both sides of the bed. For fun (and in true military fashion), try bouncing a quarter in the middle of the bed to see if everything is tucked in super tight.
Recent studies indicate that unmade beds often allow more air to circulate than made beds, which can help banish dust mites and the allergens they produce. Share this tidbit with your children at your own peril.