Shoe polishing Montessori Practical-Life care-of-self activity develops in preschoolers fine motor control, concentration, and confidence I can do it myself!
Montessori Practical Life Activities incorporate four main categories, one of which is the care of self and others. This category includes learning to get dressed independently, preparing/getting a snack, washing hands, buttoning or tying shoelaces, shoe polishing and many more. Most importantly, during these ‘real work’ activities, children learn body control, concentration, and coordination, consequently developing a sense of confidence and independence. Besides, the Montessori Practical-Life lesson on shoe-leather kids polishing activity is a great way to teach young children to work in a sequential and orderly manner, while showing how to effectively care of self.
YOU’LL NEED for this Shoe Polishing Activity:
- a tray so that a child can take this activity from the shelf and bring it to the table and a waterproof mat
- a set of brushes: stiff-bristle shoe dauber (buy here) and soft-bristle shoe dauber (buy here) ~ see details below
- a natural shoe conditioner (buy here) ~ see details below
- a child-size shoe buffer (buy here)~ see details below
- and lastly, a foam polish applicator (buy here) which fits perfectly in the natural shoe conditioner polish jar (a child would press gently and rotate to coat or use as a final buffer)
- *buy the entire shoe polishing activity here, or economy shoe/leather polishing here or buy similar HERE
Foremost, a natural shoe conditioner is great for the planet, for the shoes, and for your child! While shoe polishing is generally an activity for 3-year-olds, environmentally-friendly natural shoe polish is completely safe for toddlers too. It is made from olive oil, wax and essential oils, and it polishes leather leaving a soft, supple finish. Most importantly, you can easily make a natural shoe polish at home.
All-Natural Beeswax-Based Shoe Polish:
Beeswax And Oil Polish
2 tablespoons beeswax
1 cup of olive oil, linseed oil or flax seed oil (essential oils optional)
HOW: Melt beeswax like chocolate in a double boiler and never over a direct flame since its flammable. (Plan on reheating the beeswax.) Combine ingredients in a saucepan and heat slowly until the beeswax has melted. Pour the mixture into a heat-resistant bowl and let cool. Once the wax has solidified, it will be like thin Vaseline.
Next, the stiff-bristle shoe dauber (buy here) has stiff bristles that can clean mud off shoes before polishing. The hourglass shape makes this brush easy to grasp. A child would use it to apply and rub in the polish.
Montessori Care of Self Activity:
Besides developing concentration and focus, Practical Life lessons also help refine skills needed for future mastery in literacy and numeracy since they train little hands and minds to proceed in an orderly methodical manner. And, having a thoughtfully prepared environment ensures that a child can carry the activity successfully to the end. That is why it is important to have all the materials required in the basket/tray ready for the child’s use.
Notably, Dr. Maria Montessori, after years of research, had observed that children will choose real-life activities over imaginary ones almost every time because they want to feel needed, useful and important in their and our worlds.
In fact, allowing children to participate in real-life activities that will help their family or classroom are wonderful for building self-esteem. Shoe polishing Montessori Practical-Life activity allows for such meaningful contributions.
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Moreover, the soft-bristle shoe dauber (buy here) has a long wooden handle, which is contoured for easy grasping. Soft horsehair bristles are good for dusting off shoes before polishing or for applying polish and then rubbing it in.
Shoe-leather Kids Polishing Activity:
“A child who concentrates is immensely happy,” said Dr. Maria Montessori, and I witness it every day! Shoe-leather kids polishing activity is an amazing opportunity for a child to develop concentration and focus.
Finally, a child-size shoe buffer (buy here) will enable children to easily shine their shoes using a soft fleece that covers a wooden block. Adrian also finished off polishing and buffing using this foam polish applicator.
“The child can develop fully by means of experiences in his environment … Such experiences are not just play … We call such experiences ‘work’. [And] it is work he must do in order to grow up.” ~ Dr. Maria Montessori.
Practical Life Activities lay the foundation and develop the skills the child will need for all other academic areas! Real-life lessons such as folding, using a spoon, buttoning, cleaning and more, will help your child develop bodily coordination, focus, independence and a sense of order, thus facilitating immensely in the future academic lives.
Please, always supervise your children.
“I can do it myself!” says the child! And yes, he can!
What more Practical Life Activities?
If you liked this Montessori Practical Life Care of Self and Others activity, see HERE Clothes Washing Activity. Also, for Care of the Environment Activities see HERE Caring for Orchids at 3 Yo.
Moreover, for transferring activities, see HERE DRY Spout Pouring 1:1 and HERE WET Spout Pouring 1:1.
Lastly, for Kitchen activities, see HERE Cherry Pitting Activity. For carrot peeling, see HERE Making Carrot Soup at 2.5 Yo, and for more on cooking, see HERE Making Pumpkin Cookies at 3 Yo.