Silver polishing

Polishing tray Yes, I have FINALLY started Silver Polishing, after so long of thinking and reading about how to do this activity.

Amongst my albums and books, I found the Karen Tyler’s manual to be the most adaptable.  And then I worked out, easiest.  I loved Karen’s course.  It really gave me the support I needed when so young into Montessori.  And just such a great resource to have on board.  I use many other albums, but I do just love having hers to my collection.  She has homeschooled, so understands the needs of a homeschooler, as I discovered in this activity, namely the little paper towel, that none of the other albums mentioned.

One thing, I constantly have to remember, is not only how to present new work, but also how to put it all away.  Kids get so excited about doing the activity, they want to take over and it’s so hard to ‘whoa’ the excitement.  One then forgets about how to finish – and before you know it – you’ve actually lost a really important part of the work cycle.  So I was really friendly, smily, yet firm, about letting Mummy have a go first.

OK, the tray layout.

  • Flannel cloth (don’t forget to have somewhere for this to be thrown, ready for washing)
  • Paper towel (this was the best idea of all!)
  • Bowl with cut in half q-tips
  • Bowl with cotton swabs
  • Jar of Polish
  • Silver item

Metal Magic

The polish I used I researched to try find non-toxic.  Here in Australia, I found Metal Magic, that is only really sold through smaller stores, like IGA.  So I phoned my local IGA who was quite happy to order some in for me.

S Silver polishingPresentation: You are going to work on the Kitchen Towel.  Lay out the kitchen towel, putting on it from left to right, in order, the jar of polish, q-tip, cotton bud, flannel.

Dip the q-tip into the polish and then dab-dab-dab over the pot.  (Favourite part).  Then rub-rub with cotton ball – try get all the polish off.  Now scrunch up clothe in hands and rub-rub-rub – try to get your smily face reflection.

And they will go in, again and again, q-tipping, more cotton buds.  It’s just lovely to watch their concentration.

To put it away, put the lid back on the jar of polish, put the bowl onto the tray, throw the flannel into prepared basket.  Then the fun part, scrunch up the rest of the used goodies into paper towel and throw away.  Put it all back on shelf.

As they then put it back, don’t forget to quickly replace another flannel, q-tips and cotton balls.

I had to continually remind to work on the kitchen towel.

Remember to mention little things, like the interesting smell of the polish.  In the Margaret Homfray video, she even brings out the polish and reads what it is, that’s it toxic etc – details on the polish.

What I love about this presentation, is that between all the polishing activities, you can use the same format, except the item and polish changes.  In classes I’ve observed, there are a few items of each for the children to choose what they want to polish.  Even items around the room, like a wooden ornament.  I’m struggling with wood polishing, because I made beeswax polish, but it’s not as easy as a liquid to work with, and won’t work with a cotton ball.  So I might just use an oil.

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