Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Soap Grating

A great practical life skill (that also encourages motor development and wrist/arm strength as well as concentration) is soap grating. Get a bar of soap and a grater. Demonstrate how to use the equipment (either working from left to right OR top to bottom). Be sure to explain that the holes can be sharp so child needs to be cautious to keep fingers away.

I make my own detergent for cloth diapers, so the grated soap goes into this mix at our house.

You can also add it to running water at bath time, put it into a bowl of water and use egg beaters to make bubbles, or just use it for handwashing.

Remember that most children need several experiences with an activity such as this to build up the concentration to stay with it for a length of time. The first time you introduce it, they may only want to work with it for a couple minutes, and that's okay. I had this out last night and my daughter would grate for about two minutes, go do something else a bit, come back, leave....she kept getting drawn back into it. Next time I know she'll have a longer attention span for this activity.

She also had fun exploring the different sized holes and how they changed the grated pieces. When Daddy got home she incorporated some dramatic play, pretending she was making him cheese.

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