Metal Clothes Line
A vital component of any well-furnished prepared environment; at home or in the classroom!
This Metal Clothes Line is sturdy and well-balanced...and also super cute! It looks like a miniature version of the traditional Aussie 'hills hoist' clothesline (complete with rotating arms)! So it will look gorgeous in your garden (or in a sunny spot in the home) while making a child feel empowered about using such a realistic, functional tool.
The use of a Clothes Line is one of my favourite Practical Life experiences because it encapsulates the true and authentic intentions of Practical Life work.
Dr Montessori intended Practical Life work to be meaningful and relevant to the daily life of the child and the family. Montessori educators and parents sometimes need to supplement this by manufacturing "Practical Life" experiences to teach specific skills - for instance by creating activity trays. These arranged activities have many benefits but they are not part of an authentic and natural flow of the child's life. The great thing about the Clothes Line is that it provides all the social and physical benefits of activity trays but it is actually useful in the life of the child and the family.
The child can help a parent (or teacher) to take a few items of washing from the machine and help to hang it on the line (remember to limit the quantity to reflect the child's age; a toddler should only take a few items so that he or she is set up for success, whereas an older child can be expected to carry more). This promotes gross motor control (carrying the basket of washing), fine motor control (manipulating the pegs to hang each item) and a sense of personal responsibility and empowerment. A child will feel a sense of innate and authentic self-esteem from the act of being a contributing member of the household or classroom community.
The Clothes Line can also be used for incidental purposes throughout the day. If a child spills a few drops of water on his or her clothes during an activity then that article can be placed on the line to start drying straight away. This is particularly useful at Pre-school or childcare as it allows the clothing to dry during the day so that the child can collect it before going home (weather permitting!).
The use of a Clothes Line is also a great way to draw a child's attention to the power of the sun! A child can learn that we do not need to be reliant on the electricity used by a clothes dryer - the Clothes Line is effectively solar-powered as the heat of the sun allows the water to evaporate. This introduces early scientific concepts about the properties/states of water but also promotes sustainable practices!
The metal of the Clothes Line is galvanised for corrosion protection and the arms are connected by a sturdy nylon cord. Pegs are included. Some assembly is required but it is a simple process - and one that a child can be involved with as yet another Practical Life experience!