Thursday, 23 February 2012

Practical life with a Montessori toddler - Hand washing

Hand washing is E's new thing.

I try as much as I can to make sure the activities that are done here, are done in their proper place. My oldests washes their hands in the tiny bathroom that is just right by the kitchen.  But as much as I tried to set an adapted environment for E to follow along, I quickly noticed that it just didn't work.

So I set up that station in the kitchen to facilitate the task until he gets just a little bigger.

Hand washing is a fine practical life activity, because it requires many skills, most of which E has been practicing a lot lately.  Pouring, rubbing, lifting and carrying a container of liquid...  I feel washing his hands is the culminating point of all of this work, and a meaningful tasks he loves to carry out. (and feels proud accomplishing!)

This sequence went really fast, it all happened in about 2 minutes.  I didn't have much time to help him.  As soon as I gave him the pitcher, he was on his way.  I was able to help him pull off his sleeve right before the last picture.  I was amazed to see him pour the water on his own in the basin (that is his first time doing so!).

And after a good wash, he finished by emptying the basin in the bucket.

as you can see in the right lower corner, he did drop a little water on the floor

and so with a towel, he managed to clean his spill.

Tomorrow, I'll show you his hand washing station  in more details.
(and if you look at his feet, you should have a fairly good idea of what other practical life activity I'll be talking next. )

How do you manage hand washing with your toddler?  I'd love to have more ideas on how to facilitate transition to the real sink too!

Se laver les mains. 
C'est une tâche que E adore.  

Je tente toujours, autant que possible, de faire faire les activités de vie pratique dans les endroits logiques en fonction de l'activité.  Mais après maintes tentatives, je ne suis toutjours pas parvenu à organiser un environnement  facilitant cette tâche dans la salle de bain, endroit où les 2 autres font cette tâche.

J'ai donc décidé d'organiser un coin nettoyage dans la cuisine, et je dois avouer que ça été reçu avec succès.

J'adore le lavage des mains comme activité de vie pratique parce qu'elle englobe plusieurs étapes et donc plusieurs manoeuvres qui doivent être maitrisées par l'enfant pour réussir son travail.  E travaille sur plusieurs de ces étapes depuis longtemps déjà, et je crois que si cette activité est un succès, c'est parce qu'elle est apparu juste au bon moment.

Lors que j'ai photographié la séquence vue plus haut, tout est allée tellement vite, que je n'ai pas eu le temps d'intervenir d'aucune façon.  Normalement, E m'attend pour vider l'eau dans le plat, mais cette fois-ci, j'imagine qu'il était prêt à tenter le coup lui-même, et avec succès je dois avouer!  

Une fois le lavage des mains terminée, il a jeter l'eau dans la chaudière, et comme il en a renversé un peu sur le plancher, il a sorti la serviette pour le ramasser. L'acte n'était pas parfait, mais il savait comment la compléter!

Demain, je vous montrerai en détail la station que j'ai monté pour lui.  

(et si vous regardez bien ses pieds, vous aurez une bonne idée d'une des prochaines activité de vie pratique que je vais présenter...)

Et vous?  Comment avez-vous organiser le lavage de mains pour votre bambin?


  1. I am very intrigued as to all of your posts regarding toddlers and setting up the enviornment for them! Thank you so much for providing such informative posts as they have and will be such valuable assets to me as we set up our home for our 18mo old. Right now she is really big on handwashing as well and sicne we don't yet have our own space to give her a basin like you have with your son we have a set of steps that we use. I have to turn ont he faucet for her and get the soap for her (since, like I said, it isn't really set up for her yet) but she always tells me when she wants to wash her hands by rubbing them together and pointing. Thsi also coincides with her love for practicing climbing stairs so it is working well, despite not being perfect. In the future I hope to continue allowing her to get to the big sink with a set of steps that are mor elightweight so she can move them herself, a towel for drying stationed next to the sink at all times, and bar soap instead of pump soap since that will eb better suited to her hands and our budget.

    I hope that helped some! And I apologize for my spelling errors, I type too fast and my toddler just woke up!!

  2. Lovely post, great pics! Such joy when you see a child doing the right activity at the right time (in their development) and soooo focused and independent!

  3. You inspired me to set up a hand washing station today. Great stuff! I took some photos, here is the link.