Practical Life: Washing Hands with Soap and Water

Posted on Posted in Practical Life Lessons

“Washing one’s hands becomes more attractive if one has to remember the exact place for the soap, and where the towel must be hung.” —Dr. Maria Montessori



a basin

soap (in shapes, like seashells or water creatures)

a pitcher of warm water

bath towel

hand towel



1. Stand in front of the basin.

2. Make sure your sleeves are rolled up!

3. Fill the basin with warm water from the pitcher.

4. Wet your hands in the water.

5. Rub soap on your hands until your hands are nice and sudsy, then replace the soap to the dish.

6. Rub your soapy palms onto the backside of your hands. Rub soap onto your wrists, too.

7. Make sure to run each finger from bottom to tip, getting in between each one.

8. Rinse your hands in the water.

9. Pour the basin into the sink.

10. With a towel, dry each finger thoroughly, as well as the front and back of the hand.

11. Refold the towel and replace it with the other materials.

12. Open the lotion cap and squeeze a small amount of lotion onto your hands.

13. Rub the lotion on each finger from tip to bottom, as well as over palms and back of hands.

14. Massage lotion onto your hands, including the fingers and the base of the wrist.

15. Replace lotion cap.

16. Return materials to shelf.

Control of Error

The child’s hands are clean if done correctly.

Points of Interest

Turning the tap on and off to fill up the basin.

Making a bubbly lather with the soap.

Purpose: Direct

Control of movement and order of operations.

Care of self.


Purpose: Indirect

Development of the ability to correctly wash hands.