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Washing Line Activity

This page has been archived. The content was correct at the time of original publication, but is no longer updated.
Created on 06 April 2010 by ncetm_administrator
Updated on 03 December 2010 by ncetm_administrator

What Makes a Good Resource

Washing Line Activity

Resource description:
We used a washing line, items of various size, shape and colour, pegs and a washing basket.
Teacher comment: 
The children were all very involved with the activity and enjoyed the role play aspect of putting the washing on the line. We talked about how many of their parents or carers put washing outside and why you would do that. I was surprised at times with the children’s high level of understanding of the mathematical concepts we were talking about. It made me think about the way I asked questions and encouraged me to invite them to ask questions of each other.

What I did:
I asked the children if they knew what colour a piece of washing was. If they correctly identified it, they could hang it on the line.
When they had all had a turn at this we looked at the number of things on the line and I asked some questions:
If they added one or more, how many would they have?
If they took one or more off the line how many would they have?
How many of a certain colour can you find? Can you group that colour at this end?

Starting again we played other mathematical games and asked each other questions:

Which colour do you find the most of on the line?
Sort all the blue clothes
Which matches with this one?
Are there more red clothes on the line?
Put the red peg with the red clothes. How many have different colour pegs with clothes?

washing line activity


It’s a lovely open task, which we feel can be used in lots of different ways. We have developed and used the task many times. The task is very enjoyable for the children and staff love it too. Who would have thought that by hanging out the washing you could learn so much and it would be so much fun!

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