Children love to clean. Use Indian corn in the Montessori practical life area as one of your scrubbing activities. Scrubbing is a great relaxation tool. The more relaxed a child is, the deeper his concentration level can be. The more he is able to concentrate, the better he can learn later academics. The order and process used when scrubbing Indian corn can be translated to other practical cleaning activities in the child’s life. This leads to greater independence in the child. He will also refine his control and coordination in his fine motor skills.
**Bar of soap (Ivory works well)
**Small scrub brush, or a toothbrush
Items on the tray should be set up in the order they will be done. The pitcher and the small bowl should be on the left side of the tray, with the soap and scrub brush in the middle, and the sponge and Indian corn on the right, if it fits. Otherwise, put the Indian corn at the bottom of the tray. Try to fit the scrub brush with the handle pointing down, so that the child can grab it with either hand.
1. Invite the child to come to the lesson.
2. Name every item on the tray. “This is a a pitcher. This is a bowl, etc.”
3. Fill the small pitcher with water.
4. Pour the water into the bowl.
5. Dip the brush into the water.
6. Rub the brush on the bar of soap.
7. Scrub the ear of Indian corn in counter-clockwise circular motions, the same motion used when writing letters.
8. Wipe the corn clean with the sponge, rinsing it in the bowl of water, and squeezing out the excess, as needed.
9. Empty the dirty water.
10. Use the sponge to clean the tray and the work area. Also, use a towel if needed.
11. Prepare the tray for the next person, by making sure everything is returned to its proper place on the tray.
12. Return the tray to its place on the practical life shelf.
**Some people may wish to set up the scrubbing activity at a stationary table.
Where to find Indian corn:
Indian corn is readily available during the early fall season. Look for it at local supermarkets, farmers markets, and roadside stands.