Polishing Brass

Material Description:

A basket or tray covered with an oil cloth containing a small bowl or box with two pieces of cotton wool, a small tin of Brasso (filled only one-quarter full), a stick, a buffer cloth, two aprons (one child size) and an oil cloth.  Put on the aprons on, have a chowki and two mats, one to sit on the other to rest the tray on and a bin close by.  Ensure that there is cotton in the jar.

Presentation:

  • Lay out the material on the oil cloth, in order of use going left to right, naming each item as you show it to the child (cotton wool, stick, polish, rag) replaced in the same order once used.
  • Go with the child to find a simple, undecorated brass object with a flat bottom and wide opening
  • Take a piece of cotton wool and tease it out, wrap it around the cloth
  • Hold the Brasso in the right hand and with the index finger over the lid shake it vigorously
  • Place the bottle onto the oil cloth keeping hold it with the left hand
  • Unscrew the lid with three digits of the right hand, turn it over with the index finger and place it upside down on the chowki
  • Transfer some polish from the inverted lid onto the cotton
  • Apply the polish inside and then invert the object keeping it on the table to do the outside, hold the object still throughout with the left index finder and thumb, resting the little finger on the chowki’s surface
  • Screw the lid back onto the Brasso container, holding it tightly
  • Wait for the polish to dry – talk to the child about the use of the object and ask how it is used and cleaned at home
  • Notice that the object has become dull,
  • With the second cotton wool ball remove the excess polish inside and out
  • Fold the buffer cloth around the right index and middle digit, make a point of showing that you are holding the cloth tightly
  • Rub the object inside and out
  • Comment on the shine that the object has, inspect it for any remaining dirt,
  • Clean spots on the apron, oil cloth and hands
  • Bin the used cotton wool and replace them
  • Put the buffer cloth in the wash and replace it
  • Allow the child to repeat
  • Help her to put away and replace the materials
  • Ask her to wash her hands
  • Ask her to choose where to display the brass object

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Points of Interest:

  • Take the polish from the inverted lid
  • Comment on the object turning dull and later shining, compare it to how it looked at the start of the exercise

Purpose:

  • Co-ordination of Movement
  • Independence
  • Concentration
  • Social Adaptation

Age at Presentation:

Three to three and a half years

Footnote: 

  • Other polishing activities for polishing silver, glass and wood are given in the same way
  • Have many different objects to polish in different areas
  • The object chosen for the demonstration should have a wide opening to emphasise the difference between polishing the inside and then the outside
  • When this activity is mastered show how to use a toothpick to polish objects with designs
  • The object should not be placed with the cleaning materials to enhance contact with multiple areas of the classroom and for the directress to see whether the child acts out of her interest in the activity of polishing or from a sense of responsibility to preserve an object in the environment
  • Other substances which can be used to clean and are more environmentally conscious include ash, tamarind, lemon, vinegar, beeswax, do not use Brasso for any object connected with food
  • Wrapping the cotton around the stick can be done as an elementary activity

Comments

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