The Art of Washing Hands

A few days ago, we happened upon one of our toddler students, working on washing her hands. Keeping in mind that one of the overarching purposes of this activity is to teach children the necessity of the daily routine, and its importance, we were just besides ourselves, at the level of concentration and patience on display. She's not yet three.

As you watch the video, you'll notice how she explores the science behind the soap, watching it lather on her hands, as she slowly scrubs back and forth. Ever mindful of her surroundings, and her relationship therein, she surveys the room. Paying attention to her task, but also cognizant of what else is happening, she doesn't lose her focus. When she places the bar of soap in the water, the bubbles somehow, magically disappear. You can see her mind seemingly light up as she figures this out, reiterating her exploration through experimentation.

What is at work here is more than anything we can see. It's her, in the process of coming to understand and relate to the world, in her own rich and meaningful ways. Discovering the science of interactions, the mathematical precision that underlies so much of what is at work, she is committed to the task at hand. Literally, she is washing her hands. As she sets the soap aside, she dunks her hands into the basin to see them emerge clean.