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Added Dec 15, 2014

Fingernail Scrubbing

Each of the scrubbing lessons in Practical Life draws a special appeal to children, who are engaged by the bubbles and the sounds and, of course, the buckets of water. Nailscrubbing is a particularly appealing lesson, though, combining the soapy goodness of the other scrubbing lessons with the attention to tiny details exemplary of the young child.

Like Hand Washing, Nailscrubbing allows the child to develop his concentration, through the extended period of absorbing practice, coordination, through managing multiple items of different sizes and weights, order, through following the precise sequence involved in the complicated work cycle, and independence, through practice with a skill the child can complete without assistance. Often, children engaged in this lesson seem completely entranced by it, focusing on the tiny details of the bristles of the nailbrush or the unique topography of their fingers and hands.

Your child might enjoy a similar practice at home, by having a nailbrush and pure soap available to him on a small dish near a sink. Ask your child if he or she has practiced nailscrubbing and if you might get a lesson. If you do not have space to carry a basin to a table, let your child fill a large bowl in the sink with warm soapy water. Let him or her show you how to attend to the cuticles and nailbed. Your child\\'s experience at home may lack the precision of the Montessori lesson, but the time you will spend together will be invaluable.

Catherine McTamaney, Ed.D.

Christopher Academy Alumna

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