Washing Hands - Montessori Young Toddler Week 18

A little over a week ago, I have Augustus his first formal lesson on hand washing in our home. Now, by lesson, I don’t mean the big formal Montessori presentation meant for Children’s House. I mean it was the first time I intentionally showed him how to wash his hands instead of doing most of the work myself or wiping his hands with a cloth.

Really, his first introduction to hand washing occurred the first time he watched one of his siblings watch their hands in our children’s sink. Since then, I’m sure he's been internalizing the process on his own.

An introduction to hand washing for young Montessori toddlers

But, now that he’s pretty stable on his feet and showing more of a desire to be independent, it’s time to give him some agency in the process. And, he has totally loved it! 

Now, our process might not look like yours. And that’s ok. It’s more about adapting the process to your child. We do hand washing in a bowl with a pitcher. At this point, I’m filling and pouring the pitcher. I also empty the bowl and clean spilled water.


Gus is learning how to pump the soap, rub his hands, and rinse. Initially to introduce, I used hand over hand and slow motions to show him how to gather soap and rinse. But, once he was shown, he’s really taken off with it.

And, it doesn’t look perfect. And it’s not a dry or perfect or quick process. But it will get there. Exploration is important, and I will give him time and space to continue to explore the water.


Next, I expect him to take over pouring. Then, gathering water. Lastly, emptying water. Eventually, he will do the whole process independently. But the time line will be up to him. I watch and observe his readiness for more.

Does your toddler wash his/her own hands? How do you make the process independent?

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Comments

  1. I would love to know where you got your kid friendly sink seen in this post!

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