|Practical Life - Care of the Environment|
|Age||4 - 6|
|Prerequisites||Eyedropper Transfer |
Using a Sponge
wood polish in dropper bottle
3 minute sand timer
small glass or ceramic dish
cloth to apply polish
cloth to wipe off excess polish
cloth to buff polish
This activity teaches the child how to polish wood.
Have a stack of each type of polishing cloth on the shelf next to the tray. Lay them out in the order that they will be used.
Have objects to be polished in a contained to the left of the tray (The objects that have been polished go in a container to the right.)
- Put on an apron. Have the child put on an apron, also.
- Take the placemat to a table.
- Select an item to be polished and place it on the tray.
- Take the tray to the table. (Set the tray above or to the left of the placemat depending on space available.)
- Set the item to be polished on the placemat. Set out the other items along the top of the placemat.
- Put a dropperful of polish in the small dish.
- Take the first cloth and fold it over the fingers as shown.
- Dip the cloth in the polish.
- Apply the polish to the wood in the direction of the grain. Do this until the object has been coated in polish. Set down the cloth.
- Turn the timer over and wait the three minutes to let the polish soak in.
- Take the second cloth and fold it over the fingers as with the first cloth.
- Wipe off the excess polish with the cloth.
- Set down the second cloth.
- Take the third cloth and fold it over the fingers.
- Use the third cloth to rub in little circles on the wood until the wood is shiny.
- Set down the third cloth.
- Take the object to the contained for finished items.
- Wipe out the excess polish from the dish with a cloth.
- Take the cloths to the dirty laundry hamper.
- Place the other items back in the tray.
- Use the sponge to clean the mat. Start in the top left corner and wipe to the right. Then go down a bit on the left side and wipe across to the right again. Continue in this way until the whole mat has been wiped off.
- Return the sponge to the tray.
- Return the placemat to the shelf.
- Return the tray to the shelf.
- Place one of each of the polishing cloths on the tray so that it is ready for the next person.
- Wash hands.
- Hang up the apron.
Points of Interest
- Seeing the difference in the shininess of the wood
- Using the sand timer
- To teach the child how to polish wood
- To teach care for items in the environment
- To develop fine-motor skills
- To practice patience
- To develop attention to detail
- To teach left to right directionality (for reading)
Control of Error
- The polished areas will be shiny and the unpolished areas will be dull
Variations and Extensions
- You could have one larger item to polish and each child polishes only a part of it
- A piece of furniture could be polished
- A cotton ball could be used instead of a cloth to apply the polish, but be aware that some children find touching cotton balls to be super creepy.
Make Your Own
- These can be cut from old towels, old flannel shirts or sheets, old t-shirts or dress shirts
- Cut into 4 inch squares (this is a great task for parent volunteers, or for older children)
- If you'd like the cloths to last longer, you can hem or serge the edges (another task for a parent volunteer)
Where to Buy
Montessori Services $24.00 (36 cloths)
Search online for "pinch bowls" or "soy sauce dish."