CA News

Montessori Monday 27 2013-14

Added Jun 3, 2013

Washing a Chair

It's sometimes said that there's a lesson for everything in Montessori. No matter
how trivial the activity seems to be, there's a special way of doing it in the
Montessori classroom. Consider Washing a Chair, one of our favorite activities at
this time of year. You may never have washed your chairs at home, but in our
classrooms, children choose this work regularly. 

Washing a chair is an advanced Practical Life activity, requiring extended attention
and concentration and both fine and gross motor control. The child must set out
multiple tools, including the soap, pitcher, pail, brush and sponge, and must
remember the sequence of use for each. The child must carry his or her chosen chair
to the work mat. After washing it carefully, he or she must be attentive to make
sure it's fully dry or the chair won't be usable by other children. 

Throughout, the natural motivation to work with the soapy water, the joyfulness of
creating bubbles and wiping them away, and the satisfaction of engaging in and
completing a large, noticable work in the classroom inspires children to choose this
work regularly and repeatedly. At this time of year, you might even notice children
carrying chairs outside of the classroom to the playground or sidewalk to scrub them
there (where bubbles can be even bigger!) 

Meanwhile, like all the Practical LIfe materials, the lesson supports the child's
developing concentration, coordination, independence and order, and allows older
children with more established skills the opportunity to continue to practice these
qualities. And, our classroom enjoys the deep cleaning of these essential furniture
pieces! Spring cleaning at its most joyous! 
Catherine McTamaney, Ed.D.
Christopher Academy Alumna

Back to Blog