Care of Environment,Exercises of Practical Life

Washing Cloths

Material Description:

An apron, a large oil cloth, a working mat, a bucket, jug, cloths to wash in a laundry basket, washing powder in a container with a measuring spoon, two basins the same size for washing and rinsing, a small bowl to place the damp cloths, a drying cloth and a cloths line or rack with pegs.


  • 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
  • Laying out the bucket on the left top corner followed by the drying cloth and finally jug in the right top corner
  • Put the small basin in the middle
  • Near to the basins, place the container with washing powder and the spoon and the drying cloth (make sure you can remove it’s lid without picking it up and transfer the powder, on the spoon only a short distance to the first basin)
  • Place the two bowls of the same size at the base of the mat
  • Ask the child to collect some water in the jug, up to three-quarters filled
  • When she returns take the cloths from the laundry basket and but then above the two bowls, one for you to demonstrate with, the other for her to wash
  • Pour some of the water from the jug into the two basins, wipe the jug with the drying cloth
  • Remove the lid from the soap container with both hands, place the lid on the oil cloth
  • With the right hand hold the spoon and take a small amount of powder, move it carefully to the first basin and tap the spoon so the power lands in the water
  • Stir the powder with your right hand and with the left take one cloth and soak it in the  basin
  • Vigerously rub the cloth with both hands in the basin
  • Point out the soap suds
  • Squeeze the cloth with both hands firmly, over the basin, so that it is wet but not dripping
  • Place the cloth int the adjacent bowl move it gently through the water to rinse
  • Squeeze the cloth firmly and after looking at it to check that it is clean and rinsed put it the smaller bowl.
  • Check the mat and use the drying cloth or sponge to absorb any water spilt and return the drying cloth to it’s place
  • Ask the child to repeat using the other cloth
  • When the child has finished, 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
  • Ask her to empty the bucket at the sink and 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, two basins, bucket (while drying keep each item placed on the oil cloth,  inverting them to dry the insides
  • Having kept the washed cloths in the small basin, invite the child to inspect each item, to see if it and its surrounding area are dry
  • Use the drying cloth the wipe the mat if necessary
  • Pack all the objets into the bucket and store them on the shelf
  • Put the drying cloth to be dried and replace it
  • Take the cloths to the line and hang them
  • Roll up the oil cloth and fold away the plastic mat
  • Ask the child to wash her hands

Points of Interest:

  • More water is poured into the second bowl for rinsing
  • Only use a small amount of washing powder
  • Do not wet the measuring spoon
  • Move the measuring spoon carefully to the basin
  • The soap powered as it lands into the basin it is solid, but it soon disolves
  • Squeeze the cloth before transferring it to the second bowl


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

Age at Presentation:

Three to three and a half years


Show how to hang cloths to dry before this activity.

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