Direct: Independence in regard to care of the environment through learning the function of each item and its order of use.
Indirect: Development of concentration and muscular action, light as well as energetic.
Points of Interests
Watching the surface become dull with wax and then shiny with rubbing.
3 1/2 – 4 years
– A Mat (oil cloth)
– A Basket
– A Container with wood polish
– A Dish for polish
– A Cotton Ball
– A Cloth (flannel)
– A Sponge
Prepare a table made of wood. Place a stool to the left of the table. Invite a child to come by telling them you have something to show them. Have the child bring the wood-polishing basket and have them place it on the left side of the table. Then go back to the shelves and bring the appropriate mat for the wood polishing. Slowly take off the mat ring by sliding it up the rolled mat and place the ring in the top left corner of the table. Place the flap of the mat on the right side of the stool and unroll the mat in a horizontal way. Turn the mat over so the oilcloth side is facing up. Tell the child that you will be showing him how to polish the table.
- Begin by taking each object out of the basket starting with the polish bottle and going clockwise with the objects in the basket. (polish, dish, cotton ball, cloth, sponge)
- Place each object in the lefttoright order near the top of your mat.
- As you take each of the objects out one by one, name them or have the child name them if you feel he may know what they are called.
- Place the mat ring into the basket.
- Pick up the basket using both hands and place it under the stool.
- Hold the bottle of polish with your left hand.
- Show the child how to open the bottle of polish by holding the bottle with your left hand and placing your right thumb directly under the tab of the bottle mouth and your index finger opposite your thumb. Rotate your thumb up, thus pushing the tab upwards and open.
- Remove your right hand and then left.
- Hold the bottle in your right hand.
- Lift the bottle so it is a little above the dish.
- Slowly tilt the polish bottle above the middle of your dish and squeeze it so that four to five drops fall from the bottle opening into the dish.
- Replace the polish in its original spot on the mat.
- Pinch and pick up the cotton ball with your right thumb and index finger.
- Dip the cotton ball into the polish.
- Place the cotton ball at the top left corner of the table.
- Apply pressure to the cotton ball by placing your right middle finger next to your right index finger.
- Apply the polish to the table in medium size circular movements from the left corner of the table to the right corner.
- Apply the polish onto the whole table from left to right, top to bottom.
- Continue these movements (dipping the cotton ball into the polish if more is needed) until the entire table is covered in a light coat of polish.
- If necessary, apply polish around the edges of the table.
- Place the cotton ball onto the polishing mat in its spot.
- Bring the child’s attention to how the table is dull because of the wax.
- Show the child how to hold the cloth. (see Dusting a Table)
- Remove the polish through strong, medium size circular movements from left to right and top to bottom.
- Wipe the edges of the table with the cloth if needed.
- Set the cloth back onto the polishing mat.
- Bring the child’s attention to how the table is now shiny.
- Pick up the cotton ball by pinching it with your right thumb and index finger. Clean the dish with the cotton ball and then replace the cotton ball.
- Close the polish bottle by holding the bottle in place with your left hand and placing your right index finger behind the tab and rotating it down toward your body to shut it.
- If needed, clean the bottle with the cotton ball. Then place the bottle in its spot at the top of the mat.
- Throw away the dirty cotton ball in the bin and show the child where he can find clean ones. Then replace the cotton ball with a new one.
- Place the dirty cloth into the laundry basket show the child where he can find clean cloths for this activity. Then replace the cloth with a clean one.
- Take the basket out from under the stool using both hands and place it in the middle of the mat on the stool.
- Show the child how to replace the objects back into the basket. (In the same order as when taking out, starting with the polish bottle and placing the objects in a clockwise manner ending with the cloth.)
- Replace the basket on the floor to the left side of the stool.
- Look to see if any polish has been spilled onto the mat. If so, use the sponge to clean it up using the sponge cleaning movements from the activity of cleaning a table.
- Then replace the sponge into the basket.
Invite the child to polish this table or another wooden table. Tell the child that when he is done, you will show him how to put everything away. Tell the child that you will go wash your hands.
To put everything away, begin with rolling up the mat. Then place the mat ring back around the mat and replace the mat on the shelf. Come back and bring the basket back to the shelf. Then have the child wash his hands.