Metal Polishing

From Montessori Album
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Metal Polishing
Practical Life - Care of the Environment
Silver Polishing 14.JPG
Age3 - 5
PrerequisitesEyedropper Transfer
Using a Sponge
Materialsmetal object to polish
jar of metal polish
small spoon
dropper bottle with water
small bowl
toothbrush or cotton swab
cotton cloth
small basket for cloths
waterproof table mat

This activity teaches the child how to polish metal.


The materials should be laid out on the shelf as shown with the small basket of clean cloths next to the tray.

Silver Polishing 1.JPG
  1. Have the child put on an apron. Take a waterproof table mat to a table. Take the tray to the table.
    Silver Polishing 2.JPG
  2. Set the spoon, the jar of metal polish, the dropper bottle, and the small bowl on the table mat.
    Silver Polishing 3.JPG
  3. Remove the lid from the jar. Spoon one scoop of polish into the bowl. Put the lid back on the jar.
    Silver Polishing 4.JPG
  4. Add a dropper-full of water to the bowl.
    Silver Polishing 5.JPG
  5. Return the spoon, the jar of metal polish, and the dropper bottle to the tray.
    Silver Polishing 6.JPG
  6. Take the toothbrush and mix until the polish and the water form a paste. (Add more water if necessary.)
    Move the bowl of polish and toothbrush to the right side of the mat. (If left handed put it on the left side instead.)
    Silver Polishing 7.JPG
  7. Take the metal object from the tray and hold in your left hand. Use your right hand to apply polish to an area of the metal object. Gently scrub.
    Silver Polishing 8.JPG
  8. Set the metal object on the table mat. Rest the toothbrush on the bowl of polish.
    Silver Polishing 9.JPG
  9. Take the cloth and fold it around your fingers as shown.
    Silver Polishing 10.JPG Silver Polishing 11.JPG Silver Polishing 12.JPG Silver Polishing 13.JPG
  10. Use the cloth to buff the area with the polish.
    Silver Polishing 14.JPG
  11. Show the child that the cloth is now dirty. Continue polishing until polish is removed. Compare the polished area with the unpolished areas of the object.
    Silver Polishing 15.JPG
  12. Take the cloth off of your fingers and place it on the mat. Put the metal object back on the tray.
    Silver Polishing 16.JPG
  13. Put the dirty cloth in the laundry.
    Silver Polishing 17.JPG
  14. Wash out the bowl and the toothbrush and return them to the tray.
    Silver Polishing 18.JPG
  15. Clean the mat with the sponge.
    Silver Polishing 19.JPG
  16. Return the tray to the shelf. Take a new cloth and put it on the tray so the work will be ready for the next person.
    Silver Polishing 20.JPG Silver Polishing 21.JPG

Points of Interest

Control of Error

Variations and Extensions


Make Your Own

Silver polish can be made by mixing 2 parts baking soda with 1 part salt.
The cotton cloths should be about 3 inches square. These can be cut out from an old T-shirt.

Where to Buy

Prices and links checked: 23 January 2022
(Amazon/Bookshop are affiliate links, which help cover costs of running the site.)

Dropper Bottle (1 oz)
Store Price
Montessori Services $1.25

Further Reading