Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Real life montessori activities - hand washing

Yesterday I took advantage of a messy cookies situation and set up the bathroom to do hand washing. I got out our her little stool, foaming soap and a hand towel next to the sink. I took her into the bathroom and showed her how to wash her hands, focusing on washing really good, slowly going through each step. She *mostly* listened and watched but was excited to start herself. I let her have at it and this was the result.

She had a hard time moving on from the "bubble gloves" part. She did a really good job with soaping up though.

There  is some debate, I gather, in the Montessori community on whether or not to correct this kind of blatant disregard for the steps of the activity. Some say you should present the materials and then let the child do as they may, as long as they are respectful, and eventually they will begin to copy your demonstration. Some say you should help them through the activity from beginning to end and encourage them to do it the right way.

I obviously follow the former philosophy.

One nice thing did come out of this exercise, as she cleaned up her mess almost entirely by herself.

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