Polishing shoes

Invite a child to come by telling them you have something to show them. Put on an apron and have the child put one on as well. Have the child bring to the table the board and on it the shoe-polishing basket. Place it in the center of the table. Place the basket in the top right corner of the table. Then, go get the shoes and place both shoes on the floor next to your chair. Then have the child sit down first and then you sit down. Tell the child that you will show him how to polish a shoe. Slowly take off the mat ring by sliding it up the rolled mat and place the ring in the top left corner of the table. Place the flap of the mat on the right side of the table and roll out the mat in a horizontal way. Turn the mat over so the oilcloth side is facing up.


  1. Begin by taking each object out of the basket starting with the newspaper and going clockwise with the objects in the basket. (newspaper, small brush, polish, cloth, large brush, buffer, sponge)
  2. Place each object in the lefttoright order at the top of your board.
  3. As you take each of the objects out one by one, name them or have the child name them if you feel he may know the answer.
  4. Place one of the shoes on the far right side of the mat.


  1. Unfold the newspaper the way you would a folded square cloth until the newspaper if fully unfolded.
  2. Place the sheet of newspaper in the center of the board.
  3. Place the shoe flat on the newspaper and so the heel of the shoe is close to your body and the toe of the shoe is furthest away from you.
  4. Hold on to the back of the shoe with your left hand.
  5. Pick up the small brush with your right hand and brush any dirt off of the shoe by using small quick brushing movements working your way around the entire shoe.
  6. Replace the small brush in its spot at the top of the board.
  7. Place the shoe on the far right side of the board.
  8. Refold the newspaper carefully to make sure all of the dirt does not fall off the newspaper as you are folding it.
  9. Bring the attention to the child that you are trying not to let any dirt slip out as you are folding.
  10. Replace the folded newspaper in its spot at the top of the board.
  11. Replace the shoe in the middle of the board.
  12. Pick up the polish around the base with your left hand and bring the polish closer to you.
  13. Place your right thumb above the pressure point of the polish tin.
  14. Place your right fingers under the tin for balance and press down with your right thumb until the lid pops open on the side opposite your thumb.
  15. Pick the lid off the tin with your right thumb and middle finger (as you would for a bottle top) and flip it over using your index finger (as you would a bottle top).
  16. Place the lid upside down where the tin had been placed on the board and place the polish directly below it.
  17. Pick up the folded cloth and place your four right fingers under the first flap and hold the cloth in place by positioning your right thumb under the entire cloth.
  18. Hold the polish in place with your left hand and using a very light brush movement, take a little bit of polish onto the cloth.
  19. Begin to polish the shoe by holding the shoe steady with your left hand and with your right hand, make small circular movements around the shoe in the same direction as when you used the small brush.
  20. Place the cloth back in its spot on the board.
  21. Close the polish by rotating the top over with your right hand (as you would for a bottle top) and placing it carefully so it fits on the tin. To assure the lid is on, press the center of the lid with your right index and middle finger until it is closed tightly.
  22. Use the big brush to brush the polish using long, light stokes working your way around the shoe as for the small brush.
  23. Then use the buffer in the same way as the large brush until you see a shine.
  24. Bring the shine to the attention of the child.
  25. Once done with the buffering, place the buffer in its spot at the top of the board and the shoe back on the floor.


  1. Stand up and throw the newspaper away in the bin.
  2. Show the child where they can find a clean sheet of newspaper and replace it in the spot for the newspaper on the board.
  3. Take the cloth to the laundry basket and show the child where they can find a clean cloth.
  4. Replace the clean cloth on the spot for the cloth on the board.
  5. Then you and the child can sit back down.
  6. Replace all of the objects into the basket starting with the clean newspaper and taking the objects from the left to the right and placing them in a clockwise manner in the basket.
  7. Replace all of the objects except the sponge.
  8. Use the sponge to clean any polish or dirt that might be on the board.
  9. Then replace the sponge in the basket according to the order mentioned above.
  10. Then go and wash your hands.
  11. Bring the other shoe onto the right side of the board.

Offer the child the opportunity to polish the shoe that you have placed on the table. Tell that child that you will now take off your apron. Tell him that he can now polish this shoe and once he is done, you will show him how to put everything away.

Once the child is done, place the basket onto the board and bring the board (and basket) back to its spot on the shelves. Have the child wash his hands and then take off his apron.


Direct: To show the child how to polish a leather shoe.

Indirect: Development of concentration through order and sequence and development of muscular control.

Points of Interests
Noticing the shine as you use the buffer.

3 1/2  4 years

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