In our home we use brushes everyday. We use them for scrubbing, brushing and general cleaning! Why not offer your child the opportunity to clean alongside you or perhaps give the child their own brushes for their own work? It's an easy way to introduce five minutes of Montessori into your day!
There are many child-size brushes available and they can make a difference, they are easier for the child to use and coordinate, but don't let not having a specific child size bush stop you or your child. Using a brush can be good for developing fine and gross motor skills, coordination, building strength and concentration! Using a brush can give the child skills to participate in a meaningful way in care of self (brushing hair or cleaning nails) or care of the environment (cleaning, washing tables) activities. Here are some examples of ways a child can use brushes around the home!
- Dishwashing Brush - consider a glass washing brush or bottle brush if you are washing lots of glasses or bottles. Your child can wash a few dishes while you prepare dinner.
- Nail Brush - we always have a nail brush in the boys' bathroom for cleaning nails while in the bath or when handwashing.
- Hair Brush - a low mirror can help a child when brushing their own hair.
- Dustpan and Brush - good for cleaning up any little spills or crumbs on the floor.
- Broom or Whisk Boom - look for indoor and outdoor sweeping opportunities.
- Shoe Brush - why not leave in the shoe basket, mud room or entry way to clean dusty or dirty shoes, also use for shoe polishing.
- Dusting Brush
- Baking/Pastry Brush - suitable for oiling a pan, or for putting on egg-wash.
- Scrub Brush - for washing tables or provide a separate scrub brush for washing floors. A child could also use a soft brush to clean their toys (provide a warm bucket of soapy water) or scrub down their trike or outdoor toys.
- Vegetable Brush - often mushroom brushes are small and suitable for a child to scrub vegetables. Scrub root vegetables such as unwashed potatoes or carrots from the garden.
- Paint Brush - we provide lots of different sizes to encourage experimentation.
- Gluing Brush - for young children we provide a small brush or applicator to use with glue and only present glue sticks to older children.
- Table Brush - for brushing crumbs off the dining table (often comes with a small dustpan for the crumbs).
- Clothes or Laundry Brush - perfect for removing lint (especially for special occasions or on formal clothes).
- Bath or Body Brush
- Pet (Cat, Dog, Small Animal) Brush - to groom and care for pets.
Stores like Montessori Services (US) or Absorbent Minds (UK) stock many child-size brushes however they can also be found at a low cost in specialist kitchen stores or homeware stores. In Australia, Saison has a fantastic range of high-quality brushes suitable for children.
Some types of brushes can be used for alternative purposes so keep an open mind, some standard pot brushes or vegetable brushes may work well as a child's scrubbing brush - just make sure the child knows what each brush is to be used for.
Remember the child will need a demonstration on how to use each brush and you may need patience, scrubbing or sweeping often involves a new movement that may take a while for the child to master!