Care of Environment

Scrubbing a Table

Material Description:

A working mat, oil cloth, large plastic mat, a child size bucket, jug and basin, three soap-dishes containing a small sponge, scrubbing brush and piece of soap respectively, two aprons (one of which should be child size).  These materials should be colour coded and will ideally kept out on a table with the bucket on the floor beneath them, if they must be kept in the shelves they should be dried with a cloth at the end.   A floor cloth or sponge should be ready for the child to use to absorb excess water.


  • Invite the child to was the table and accompany her to where the material is displayed
  • Put on the aprons
  • Introduce the material naming it and if necessary assist the child in moving it to the place of presentation; if the materials are kept on shelves and need to be moved set it out by
  • Laying out the working mat and unrolling the oil cloth on top of it, unfold the plastic sheet to the left side of this and tuck it underneath the oil cloth
  • Laying out the basin on the left base corner followed by the three soap dishes containing sponge, brush and soap (moving from left to right along the base of the cloth) and the bucket drying cloth and jug in order of use, from the top left to top right corner.
  • Collecting some water in the jug, up to three-quarters filled and not too heavy
  • Place the chowki on the plastic mat


  • If working on a set up table fill the jug three-quarters full
  • Pour some of the water from the jug into the basin
  • Soak the sponge in the basin
  • Squeeze the sponge in the right hand, over the basin, so that it is wet but not dripping
  • Wet the chowki by placing the sponge on the top left corner and bringing the sponge to the base left corner, raising it before it touches the edge
  • Repeat from the top working towards the right
  • When complete, at the base right corner, notice that the table shines wet, but no puddles of water have collected
  • Rinse the sponge, squeeze it out completely and replace it back into the soap-dish
  • Take the scrubbing brush and dip it into the basin
  • Lift it up (pointing downwards) and shake it once
  • Pick up the soap with the left hand, gently rub the bristles onto the soap, keeping it over the basin
  • Return the soap to the soap dish
  • Start brushing from the left upper corner of the table using clockwise, circular motions from left to right across the top edge of the table
  • Make swirls of soap, slowing down at the edges
  • Repeat these motions, overlapping further down the chowki till the right base corner is reached and the surface is covered in soap
  • Rinse the brush in the water, shake it once over the bowl and put it back into the soap-dish
  • Repeat the above actions with the sponge, to rinse the table
  • Take the drying cloth and rub the surface with large clockwise circles from left to right, starting at the top and ending at the base
  • Check the cloth together for any marks or wet patches
  • Compare how it looks now to how it looked before


  • Check the mat under the table, use the floor cloth or sponge to absorb any water spilt
  • Return the drying cloth to it’s place
  • Swab the fingers of the right hand around the waterline in the basin, while holding it steady with the left hand to show the child the dirt collected
  • Pour unused water from the basin, then the jug, into the bucket
  • Take the bucket and pour the waste water away, rinse the bucket


  • Let the child take fresh water and a dry cloth and repeat with a dirty table


  • When the child has finished pour the excess water from the basin then the jug into the bucket
  • Empty the bucket at the sink, rinse it
  • Either return the bucket to its place under the table and put the jug and basin to air-dry or if the materials are to be stored in a cupboard take the drying cloth and wipe the inside of the jug, basin, bucket (while drying keep each item placed on the oil cloth,  inverting them to dry the insides, place the drying cloth on the oil cloth while turning the vessels) dry the soap-dishes.
  • Invite the child to inspect each item, to see if it and its surrounding area are dry
  • Place the brush and soap dishes on one side to dry the oil cloth
  • Put the drying cloth to be washed and replace it
  • Put the any used floor cloths or larger sponges to be dried
  • Roll up the oil cloth and fold away the plastic mat
  • Pack each material away to where it is displayed
  • Ask the child to wash her hands




Points of Interest:

  • If a large table is to be used instead of a chowki the Directress can clean half and leave half for the child.
  • This activity uses different movements, straight with the sponge and circular with the drying cloth and sponge, left to right, up and down and clockwise
  • Comment on the formation of soap bubbles
  • Compare the look of the table before and after cleaning
  • To reduce the amount of water spilt

The oil mat and plastic sheet overlap

Only use a mildly wet sponge to dampen the table and begin lifting the sponge before coming to the edge

Take less soap than you need, unless the soap has been used in a preliminary activity omit it ‘s use when showing this activity for the first time

Squeeze the sponge dry before returning it to the soap-dish

Stay inside the chowki’s edges with the sponge or scrubbing brush

Keep the jug of water and basin in a place less likely to be knocked





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



Indirect Purpose:

  • To help the child gain concentration



Age at Presentation:

Three years




  • Before attempting this the child should know how to carry a bucket, pour, use a sponge, which can be taught as preliminary activities
  • This presentation can be extended by showing the child how to clean the legs (from bottom to top) and underside of the chowki, the table can be turned on it’s side to do this. Chairs, shelves, benches and other furniture inside and outdoors can be cleaned.
  • If the child has difficulty reaching the jug or bucket she must get up and go around the mat so as to access it without straining The items are laid out on the oil cloth in order of use and also going from left to right this and the left to right and clockwise movements with the sponge and brush to mimic the actions necessary to use the Roman script










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