We have a deal. They can make a mess, as long as they help tidy it up afterwards. After grumbling for a few minutes, they usually enjoy the clean up, nearly as much as the activity!

This was the aftermath of building ‘Frozen’ castles and painting windows.


  • Washing up bowls
  • Water
  • Sieve and colander
  • Washing up brushes
  • Tuff trays and/or or a waterproof cloth


Step 1: They sorted out piles to clean and divided jobs them between themselves. Ioan took the syringe adaptors, vase fillers and Frozen characters. Finn was in charge of the Mega Bloks.

Step 2: They gave them an initial rinse.

Step 3: They then came up with a system. They used the first washing up bowl to swill the bits in water, using a metal colander for smaller objects. Once they had been rinsed again, they put them in the second bowl, using the brown sieve.

Step 4: In the second bowl, they used washing up brushes and soapy water to do a proper clean.

As usual, Ioan worked methodically. Finn kept swapping from one bowl to another, stopping to wash feet while he was at it.

DfES Early Learning Goals (2017)

Communication and language

ELG 01 – Listening and attention:

Children give their attention to what others say and respond appropriately, while engaged in another activity.

ELG 03 – Speaking:

Children express themselves effectively, showing awareness of listeners’ needs. They use past, present and future forms accurately when talking about events that have happened or are to happen in the future. They develop their own narratives and explanations by connecting ideas or events.

Physical development

ELG 04 – Moving and handling:

Children show good control and co-ordination in large and small movements. They handle equipment and tools effectively.

ELG 05 – Health and self-care:

Children manage their own basic hygiene and personal needs successfully.

Personal, social and emotional development

ELG 08 – Making relationships:

Children play co-operatively, taking turns with others. They take account of one another’s ideas about how to organise their activity.