Polishing seems a bit old fashioned these days. One thinks of arduously rubbing sterling silver, or getting just the right sheen on a table in preparation for company.
While we, as a society, may not spend as much time polishing our possessions as we once did, don’t overlook this task when searching for ways to help your child improve fine motor skills!
Polishing, whether wood, silver, brass, or glass, is a cherished activity in the Practical Life area of a Montessori classroom, and something you can easily do at home.
First off, why does it help your child? Polishing requires gripping a cloth, double tipped cotton swab, or cotton balls with a pincer grip. This grip helps your child build hand muscles and control. Eventually, they will be able to master increasingly difficult tasks that require very fine control over objects and their bodies!
Next, identify objects in your household that your child can polish. Alternatively, head to a local thrift shop or lightly used store to get small figures made of a metal or wood. Together with your child, look for objects that are of interest or catch their eye.
After deciding on a few objects, place them around the house or in your child’s room at an easily accessible height. Allow your child to independently grab an object and polish whenever they like, without having to ask you to get the object for them!
Now, gather the supplies your child will need to polish: A cloth for rubbing, small containers to hold polish, and something to apply the polish like a Q-tip or swab.
The first time around, introduce the activity to your child by asking if they would like to help keep the environment beautiful by polishing! Show your child exactly which items they can polish. If they attempt to polish something later that you didn’t identify, just give a gentle reminder about which items in your house are available.
Show your child how to carefully apply just the right amount of polish, then rub the object until it’s shiny and beautiful and no more polish can be seen. Then, replace the item to its shelf, dispose of the Q-tip, and either reuse the cloth later or throw it in a dirty laundry bin!
Your child will love this task, and practice concentration, fine motor control, and care of the environment all at the same time!
Do you have any suggestions for polishing? Discuss in the Chat!
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