Using a sponge to clean a tray

Material Description:

A tray with dust, a small sponge and a small bucket, made of plastic or metal and cleaning fluid in a bottle with a dropper lid.


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  • With the child examine a tray or other area for dust, decide to clean it
  • Ask the child to get a small sponge and to half fill a bucket with water and a new drops of cleaning fluid from a bottle with a pipette
  • Put the sponge into the water and squeeze it out, leaving the sponge wet but not dripping
  • Place the sponge on the tray at the top left corner
  • With the right hand move the sponge towards the base left corner
  • Lift the sponge and show the child the dirt
  • Bring it back to the top left edge, overlapping it with part of the area that has already been cleaned, repeat the action each time moving further to the right.
  • Rinse the sponge in the water and squeeze firmly
  • Inspect the tray, keeping the head and eyes level with the surface
  • Let the child get a fresh sponge and a bucket of clean water and repeat
  • Tell the child to wash her hands

Points of Interest:

  • The vertical dust-line left at the left edge
  • Be careful to keep the bucket at such a distance that it is unlikely to be knocked over
  • Squeeze the sponge well
  • Be careful in this area until it is dried, if it is very wet wipe the water away with a dry cloth


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

Age at Presentation:

Two and a half years


  • The child must be familiar with using a dropper bottle and carrying a bucket
  • Shelves and their undersides can be sponged by children after they have removed the objects, placing them on mats or tables while they clean
  • Other flat surfaces such as deep windowsills, table tops, sinks and shelves could be used
  • This activity will prepare the child for scrubbing a table and cleaning the floor with a cloth


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