Thursday, September 1, 2011

Montessori For Home: Hand Washing

I set up a hand washing station for Dorothy (20 mos.) earlier this summer.  I used her kitchen shelves-seen here before hand washing supplies.

She needed a step stool to be at the right height to reach the bowl.  Here is what you need to set up a hand washing station.
  • medium sized basin (bowl)
  • small pitcher
  • water source
  • small dish with travel sized soap
  • bucket for used water
  • hand towel
  • apron
Model this for your child

    1. put on an apron. (not necessary) 
    2. use water dispenser to put water in the pitcher, (some mamas are more comfortable getting the water for their child)
    3. pour the water into the basin
    4. using soap, wash hands (love making bubbles!)
    5. rinse in same water
    6. dry hands on the towel-rehang towel
    7. pour water out into the bucket (for us it is the big pot on the floor)
    8. use towel to dry table, basin floor etc...

    This will be messy.  Patiently help your child clean up spills.  It can be useful to place a towel on the floor for your child to stand on.  (less slippery)  They might spend a long time with the soap part, repeat parts over and over or lose interest in the middle.  This is all okay.  Be available but try not to hover.  I like to wait until help is asked for or absolutely needed.  
    Activities like this one or drinking from a cup, feeding and dressing themselves require much more of you in the beginning.  More patience and a lot more clean up.  Persevere and within no time they will be able to do it with little or no assistance.


    1. I always look forward to your childcare posts, my little girl is developmentally about the same age as your Dotty so they're really relevant to me.xx.

    2. I too love these posts. I am storing away the ideas for when Liam is ready for them. Some of them he is of the age for, but not the ability. He is so distracted sometimes and still has problems with cutlery and dishes. Bowls are for turning over, cups as well. But we keep trying. We are about to do some spoon lessons and playing in the back yard with no cloth part on the high chair with him in just a diaper and see if he can get the hang of it. I think part of the problem is my issues with cleaning up messes. I hate to try and juggle him while cleaning because he turns cleaning into a bigger job. I should limit the mess making portions into something smaller that wouldn't take so much effort to clean.


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