Idea 99: ‘The Washing Machine’, Activity for Compliments and Happiness


Have your class stand in two lines facing each other, so that they form a corridor about a metre wide between them. This corridor is the emotional ‘washing machine’.

Next, one student is chosen (they all volunteer because they love it!) who is feeling a little sad or perhaps just wants to be cheered up. They walk through the ‘washing machine’. As they walk through, everybody stood in the lines can high-five them, or give them a clap, or say how cool they are or why they like them. When the student comes out of the ‘washing machine’ they should feel all clean and happy!

My class LOVES the washing machine! It’s very sweet seeing a student walking through their classmates, smiling away as everyone cheers them. Also, because the students all eventually get a turn at going through the ‘washing machine’, I’ve found that they don’t act mean towards anybody else, as they know soon it will be their turn to walk through.

This activity helps to set a great positive atmosphere in the class and brings the students together. I originally used the activity when I was teaching about human rights and treating people equally even if they are different from us. It was so popular that I now also use this activity as a reward for students who have been good in class.

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One Response to Idea 99: ‘The Washing Machine’, Activity for Compliments and Happiness

  1. Lotus says:

    Nice post on washing machine. one should read it..i really enjoyed reding and suggest my friends too to go through it.

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