KaMOShi Practical guide for 'The king's smallest room'

A story about having to go to the toilet urgently and getting lost. Even a king can experience this. Get to know a toilet that you can "easily come” to. Preference for a simple toilet with a water saving button to a toilet with an access code!
Theme: toilet, be economical with water
Sub-themes: toilet habituation, how does a toilet operate, the use of the water saving button, a simple toilet for everyone.

Possible reasons or motives to tell this story

  • Toddlers tell each other about toilet use at home, at school or elsewhere.​​
  • There is a water problem in the toilets. The school is having the toilets renewed.
  • The school organizes a project about valuable water.
  • Every year on November 19, "World Toilet Day" is organized. More than 2 billion people live without a toilet.
  • On March 20, a project "World Water Day-at-school" is promoted. The school participates.

Offical Development Goals for Pre-Primary Education

• Nature: Health: 1.11 The toddlers display good habits in their day-to-day hygiene.
• Nature: Environment: 1.13 the toddlers show an attitude of care and respect for nature.
• Technology: 2.1 The toddlers can specify from technical systems they often use themselves, whether they are made of metal, stone, wood, glass, paper, textile or plastic.
• Technology: 2.2 the toddlers can from a simple technical system in their environment demonstrate that different parts of it are related to each other in function of a predetermined goal.
• Technology: 2.8 The toddlers are willing to work hygienically, safely and carefully.

MOS key objectives of this story


Feel: empathize


Sympathize with King Turd and servant Highwater and his toilet with water saving button.

Recognizing feelings like 'having to go to the toilet urgently'.

hoofd met hersenen

Think: explore


Getting to know the different types of toilets, the way they operate and

their use.

Realizing that you use less water with a water saving button



Do: work in an organized and active way with children    

Learning to use water economically and standing up for it.

Only use the large toilet flush button if necessary.


Sustainable Development Goals

SDG 4 Quality education

Target 4.7 Ensure that all pupils acquire the knowledge and skills that are necessary to promote sustainable development by 2030…. 

SDG 6 clean water sanitation

Target 6.2: By 2030, achieve access to adequate and proper sanitation and hygiene for all. 

Target 6.4: By 2030, substantially increase water-use efficiency across all sectors and ensure sustainable extraction and supply of freshwater to address water scarcity and substantially reduce the number of people suffering from water shortage.

Target 6b: Support and strengthen the participation of local communities in improving water and sanitation management.

Overview of the pictures + related key questions and tips

Picture 0 – title + front page

tekening van haas die bij toilet met gezicht staat


Picture 1 – The king must relieve himself urgently

Koning Flapdrol moet dringend naar het toilet

Key questions that go with this picture:

  • What is so urgent for King Turd?
  • Why does his belly hurt?
  • Do you recognize this?
  • What causes the pain?

Picture 2 – The King and his Palace

De koning woont in een kasteel met heel veel kamers




Picture 3 – The different rooms

Koning Flapdrol kijkt binnen in de kamers op zoek naar zijn toilet

Key questions that go with this picture:

  • Why is King Turd’s palace so big?
  • Are you living in a palace too?
  • Can you easily find the toilet at home? And at school?
  • What would it be like if King Turd lived in a normal house?

Picture 4 – The royal toilet

Er staan veel te veel knopjes op zijn toilet

Key questions that go with this picture:

  • Does the toilet at school/at home have so many buttons too?
  • What kind of buttons does it have? Do you know what they are used for?
  • How can we guarantee that everyone knows what each button is used for?

Picture 5 – The King is angry

De koning maakt zich boos


Picture 6 – The King is cross at his servant

De koning maakt zich boos tegen lakei Hoogwater

Key questions that go with this picture:

  • Does anyone know how a toilet works?
  • Where does the water come from?
  • What happens to the water after toileting?
  • Are there toilets that use no water? How do they work?
    - look up: composting toilet
  • How do people in other countries go to the toilet (e.g. when there is little water or no drainage).



Visit a toilet and find out where the water comes from and where it goes to. Take away the toilet tank’s cover and flush to see how it works.

Picture 7 – The servant shows the king his toilet

Lakei Hoogwater toont zijn eenvoudig toilet



Picture 8 – The king is reading his newspaper

De koning leest zijn krant op het toilet


Picture 9 – The toilet is happy

Het toilet glimlacht


Possible tips in the observation of the pictures

The characters in the story

  • King Turd: pictures 1, (2), 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
  • Servant Highwater: pictures 2, 6, 7
  • Hare or rabbit (without name): all pictures, except picture 5, pet?
  • Figurants: servant 2 (picture 2), cook, who’s that woman who is sleeping near the kitchen (picture 3).
  • Royal toilet with code, bells and whistles, picture 0 and 9, 7
  • Simple toilet: picture 4

King Turd’s feelings

  • Picture 1: he is in pain and in a bit of a panic
  • Picture 2: sad, lost, strayed, confused
  • Picture 3: desperate, he gets angry
  • Picture 4: relaxed, for a while, relieved, for a while, then sheer fear
  • Picture 5: desperate very angry
  • Picture 6: angry, relieved, grateful
  • Picture 7: surprised, impressed by the simplicity
  • Picture 8: relieved, happy, relaxed

Research tools

• Compare the simple toilet and the toilet with code with the toilets at school, at home, ... Which parts of the simple toilet can you also observe in the toilets at school? Is there a water saving button or not?
• How do you know who the toilet is for? Picture 4 and 6: icon royal toilet; picture 8: simple toilet.
• How can you find your way to the toilet? Picture 6: the arrow refers to the royal toilet and the icon refers to the exit. Do we also have icons and arrows at school or can we put them on the walls?

Closer search
- observe in detail

  • Picture 0 or 9: which parts of the simple toilet do you observe? Red supply pipe, blue tap, green water saving button, golden toilet seat, yellow drainpipe, smiling toilet bowl with water, ...
  • Picture 1: what do you observe at the king's crown and at his feet? Royal housecoat or bathrobe? Drawing above the three doors, where do you go when you take that door?
  • Picture 2: is it a palace or a castle? Who can count the doors? How do you recognize both toilets? What are those two men walking down the hallway doing? Which corridors does the king have to take to get to both toilets (worksheet maze)?
  • Picture 3: what are these 3 rooms used for? What drawing do you observe above the doorway? Who sleeps next to the kitchen? Can you find this hallway and these doors in picture 2?
  • Picture 4: what do you notice in the room with the royal toilet with code?
  • Picture 6: servant clothing. Why does he have a toilet roll in his pocket?
  • Picture 7: notice the 'vinegar' bottle to clean / descale the toilet bowl.
  • Picture 7 and 8: What do you observe in the room with the simple toilet? What is the king doing on the toilet?

- Comparative observation of both rooms and toilets: what can you see in the pictures? What differences do you see between pictures 4 and 7?

- Find the rabbit/hare in all the pictures. What facial expressions/feelings do you discover on the animal's face? There is one picture without this animal. Which one?

- Find the plant that grows well in the palace. Picture 1, picture 2, picture 3, picture 6, picture 8

Vocabulary and expressions in the story


Urgent / no objection / shocked / fuss / complicated / completely forgotten / emptied / relaxed / relieved / on good fortune / shucks / problem / pure shock / gradually / eventually / desperate / visible / quest.


Turd / gigantic big / king / royal toilet / royal smallest room / servant / my kingdom for a toilet! / palace / Sire.


Bladder / code / comfortable / how high the need is / high water / small / smallest room / cosy / lived happily ever after / a small leak / almost bursting apart / rumbling and growling / smart in its simplicity / sphincter / water saving button / bells and whistles / be relieved of one’s load / relieved of one’s package / toilet seat / lying down / economical with water.

Possible activities to strengthen empathy


Empathy moment or activity

Having discussions about feelings and situations in connection with the toilet

Empathize with the characters of the story through motion expression

Enriching free play

Further developing the story musically

Promote participation by children and the environment

For those who want to empathize even more


Empathy moment or activity

  • Before, after or while reading the story
  • Try not to interrupt the story too much


Having discussions about feelings and situations in connection with the toilet

  • What do you feel when you have to go to the toilet (urgently)? How do you ask to go to the toilet? Do you dare to do that?
  • Sometimes it is necessary to wait for a while, unless there is really no other option.
  • Pipi in the trousers. How do you feel then? What feeling would your parents/teacher have then?
  • Do you prefer to close the door when you’re on the toilet?
  • Toilet and privacy: do you like to close the door when you are on the toilet? What feeling is this about? Perhaps you don’t like others to be there when you have to go?  Have you ever been locked up before?
  • Where do you like going to the toilet? Where do you dislike it? How do you feel about a clean/ dirty toilet? Do you wash your hands after having used the toilet?Why? Do you use water economically? How do you realize that?


Empathize with the characters of the story through motion expression

  • King Turd who needs to urinate urgently, who gets lost in the hallway and gets angry, who loses his patience because he doesn’t remember the code, who hangs his bathrobe on the hook, sits down and squats, relaxes, reads his newspaper…
  • Servant Highwater who goes around with the teapot, is listening, comes running with toilet roll, offers a simple toilet, cleans the toilet seat, standing up for being economical with water.
  • Rabbit/hare walking along and empathizing with the king (also facial expression)
  • Cleaning aid with mop and cooks with chef’s hat or spoon
  • If possible, interpreting both toilets
  • Dramatizing, re-enacting the whole story with all characters.


Enriching free play

  • Offering some stuffed animals or small dolls with mini toilet or potty to re-enact the story or to practise a step-by-step plan for going to the toilet.
  • Offering king’s, servant’s and other characters’ costumes.


Further developing the story musically

  • What is King Turd doing during and after using the simple toilet? Washing hands? Showering? Issue a 'Royal Decree' regarding toilets?

  • Does servant Highwater clean his toilet himself? How does he do it? Is it only cleaned with water, or is something else (from a bottle) sometimes used? Why would that be? What is in that bottle? And what does the water think of it? And what about the plants and animals/fishes that live in the water?

  • Which characters use the simple toilet too?

  • Look for the plants on the pictures. Who gives rainwater to the plants in the palace?

  • Where is the queen? Which toilet does she go to when she gets up? What does she stand up for? Does she think saving water is very important? Something for the people, but not for kings? Or does she think it's all a bit exaggerated, nonsense? How does she show that? Does she set a good example of cleanliness and using water economically herself?

  • Are there children, princes and princesses in the palace? What are they doing and what do they think of it? Do they correspond well with their behaviour and opinion about being economical with water/ using the water saving button?


Promote participation by children and the environment

  • Individual contribution to the circle discussions.

  • The children get a lot of opportunities to:

    • choose who they want to empathize with. The children choose who is sleeping next to the kitchen and what input he/she can have in the further development of the story.
    • make proposals concerning being economical with water.
    • developing a sequel to the story.
  • Invite the cleaning aid and maintenance man/woman, parent, grandparent or someone else who shows how you can / cannot handle water on the basis of concrete examples. It also creates the occasion to introduce some concepts related to water: tap water, drinking water, rainwater, wastewater, bottled water, sea water, pool water, fresh water, sparkling water, ....​​


For those who want to empathize even more

  • What names and signs do people give to toilets?

    • Toilet, poop box, the smallest room, lavatory, bathroom

    • “Sit on his throne" = sit on the toilet

    • Why is there a heart in the toilet door? Some light can enter and perhaps it also helps to ventilate if there is a bad smell...

    • Are there signs, letters or symbols that indicate how to be economical with water? How?

    • The word toilet has its origin in French. Initially, "toilet making" meant dressing with care. Later, the toilet was both the small room and the toilet bowl.

    • The word "wc" is the abbreviation for water closet. It is a toilet bowl with water flush. The abbreviation is used in both French and English.

    • A squat toilet has no bowl and consists of a hole in the floor, above which you have to squat. You’ll meet it while travelling on roadside car parks.

  • The royal toilet makes you think of a modern Japanese toilet with a lot of buttons.

    • Remote control to open and close the lid (as in picture 4), heating and automatic cleaning of the toilet seat

  • Toilet sprinkler, water spray instead of toilet paper, massage, air filter, air conditioning, soft lighting, toilet slippers, sound box to stimulate the water or mute noise without extra water use.

    • Tip: try to avoid stereotypes: "In Japan, some people have a toilet with a lot of buttons."

  • Facts:

    • In Brussels-Central Station and in some historic station buildings in the Netherlands, there is a royal toilet without bells and whistles. It was installed there in the time when the king was still travelling by train. The toilet was only meant for the king and queen.

    • In Efteling (a theme park in the Netherlands), there is a 'royal toilet' with a golden seat.

Encourage thinking, observation and research

hoofd met hersenen


Brainstorming about going to the toilet in the classroom or near the classroom

Discovering and observing toilets at school

Exploring toilet use at home or elsewhere with respect for privacy, insider information and experiences

Explaining and showing how a water toilet works and observation af water saving buttons

Measure how much water is used and find out how to reduce consumption

Investigate the 'toilet ritual' and agree on how to improve it

Visual processing of 'my toilet'

Promote children's and their environment's participation

For those who want even more


Brainstorming about going to the toilet in the classroom or near the classroom

  • Children talk in full about feelings, situations and habits. Problems with toilet? How to solve them?

  • Collect reactions on the theme table and in the theme corner: perception of pamper, children's potty, wet wipes, toilet paper, royal potty with sound (Fischer Price),...

  • Teacher listens, takes notes and draws on flap.


Discovering and observing toilets at school

  • Watching together: https://schooltv.nl/video/de-wc-het-kleinste-kamertje-in-huis/

  • Search based on photos, e.g. on a tablet.

  • What's behind every door? Can we find rabbit / hare or other stuffed animal?

  • Which parts does the toilet bowl have? Can the water tank be opened? Is there a lid? Can we see the water tap, water pipe or drainpipe? Is there a toilet with a water saving button? What material is the toilet made of?

  • How is the toilet room furnished? Who provides toilet paper? Who cleans the toilet? Who takes care of ventilation?

  • Is there a direction sign to the toilet? Are there toilet icons?

  • Sketching a floor plan: along which corridors and places have we gone?


Exploring toilet use at home or elsewhere with respect for privacy, insider information and experiences

  • When, how and where do you go to the toilet at home or elsewhere? Inside, outside, upstairs, downstairs, is there a water saving button? Are water pipe and drain visible? Is rainwater used? What do you usually do in the toilet room? How do you wash your hands? Can the door be locked? Are there problems related to the toilet? How have they been resolved?
  • See possible guiding questions with picture 4: does the toilet at home also have so many buttons? What buttons does it have? Do you also know what they are for?
  • Activate vocabulary related to toilet room, with photos if possible: birthday calendar, toilet booklets, strips, toilet brush, washbasin with soap or liquid soap pump and towel, dustbin, ventilation, smell, toilet cleaner….
  • Experiences with situations other than on a simple toilet? When travelling, on holiday, at a camp, on a toilet on a site,… Who has a compost toilet? How does it work?


Explaining and showing how a water toilet works and observation of water saving buttons

  • Is there a toilet at school where you can clearly observe the drainage? Do you see the S-shaped tube?
  • Show how an S-shaped tube or siphon works on the basis of a few pipes. Pour in some water and show how it stays and flows away? What is it for?
  • Clarify how it works by means of a diagram.
  • See also the end of video https://schooltv.nl/video/wat-is-een-zwanenhals-tegen-vieze-geurtjes-uit-het-riool/
  • Possibly add observation of different kinds of water saving buttons based on photos. Worksheet: 'find the water saving button'.


Measure how much water is used and find out how to reduce consumption

  • Can we see / hear the difference in water use between the large toilet flush button and the small one? How long does the water keep running? Does it take longer or shorter? Can we measure the time with a stopwatch or with an hourglass?
  • Can we count all the toilet visits of children and teacher during a full day? Mark on a piece of paper when the large or small flush button is used. A large button corresponds to two cubes or two empty bottles. A small button is then 1 cube or 1 bottle. Decide together.
  • What more can we do? Make more use of the small flush button, make the water tank smaller by placing a stone or bottle with water in it, collect rainwater and pour it through, ...


Investigate the "toilet ritual" and agree on how to improve it

  • Explain to each other how you go to the toilet. Arranging images: which one first? What then?
  • Go through the sequence: take turns arranging two beads at the door? To the toilet. Is there a door? Knock on the door? What do you answer? Door closed, door open? How to sit? Do boys sit to pee too? Is that better? Yes, it is more hygienic, and it is healthier because then the bladder can become completely empty. Paper usage? Lid closed. Flush with the large or small button? Where to wash hands? Back to class.
  • View or format a step-by-step plan. See e.g. a step-by-step plan for toilet training. What can we do better?
  • What tools do we use? Practicing the step-by-step plan with the classroom doll? Make an overview map "how to wash hands?” How can we ensure that everyone knows what each button is used for? E.g. by putting a sticker on it.


Visual processing of 'my toilet'

  • Detailed observation of the facilities of both toilets in the story (see pictures 4 and 7) and of (images of) other toilets?
  • Where do I want my toilet? Outside or inside? Upstairs or downstairs? Between flowers and shrubs?
  • How would I like to arrange my toilet room? Toilet with music, games, hearts, smileys, birthday calendar, photos, books, scent jars, ...?
  • Which toilet bowl do I want?  With only a water saving button? With 2 or more buttons for dosing water or with bells and whistles? Do I choose a compost toilet?


Promote children’s and their environment’s participation

  • The main purpose of the brainstorming is getting as much input and contribution as possible from the children.
  • The children are given the opportunity to choose what can be investigated.
  • The children decide for themselves whether and what to say about the toilet and the customs at home.
  • Invite a cleaning help, a sanitary worker or mom / dad / grandparent who saves water him/herself.
  • Invite someone from the municipality or an association who can tell and show a few things about sewerage, accessibility to toilets, public toilet, ...
  • Invite a (grand) parent or someone from an association who can tell about and show photos, take something with you from different types of toilets, toilet rituals, toilets elsewhere, toilets in the past.


For those who want even more

  • Take a composting toilet to school. Get to know its features and how it works.
  • Taking a walk in the surroundings of the school to some toilets: public toilet, composting toilet,...
  • How did people used to go to the toilet? See e.g. outside toilet, castle toilet at the castle wall,... There used to be a booth outside with a heart in the door. You could sit or squat on a wooden plank with a hole in it. There was no water pipe. Everything came together in a well that had to be emptied after a few months and was scattered on the land. It makes us think of today's composting toilet. Inside, for example, people used a stone pot or a night bucket to pee in at night. This still happens in houses without water drainage upstairs.
  • How do people go to the toilet elsewhere? Compile an info book with photos and put it on a theme table or in a book corner. Avoid clichés.

Activities to perform together with the children


Carry out research decisions and follow them up for a week or more

Hang up addition icons, stickers and a step-by-step plan

Participation by the children

Participation by people in the school and its surroundings

For those who want even more


Carry out research decisions and follow them up for a week or more

  • Apply the agreements about improving the toilet ritual.
  • Observe the agreements on the use of the water saving button and reducing water consumption. Introduce a reward system?
  • Follow-up moments: are you successful? Where are things going well, where can things be improved? Have we forgotten something?
  • Can we draw up a 'royal decree' about our good intentions together?


Hang up additional icons, stickers and a step-by-step plan

  • Hang a step-by-step plan on the door of the classroom or the toilet door.
  • Stick the picture of a heart on the water saving button.
  • Indicate the way to the toilet better.
  • Better indicate who the toilet is for.


Participation by the children

  • Let the children choose which toilet they want to use and how they flush.
  • Let the children explain the operation and proper use of the toilet at home.
  • Let children choose their own action and how they want to work on it.
  • Let the children bring their own picture books about cleanliness and toilet training.


Participation by people in the school and its surroundings

  • Fill up a 'toilet bag' with information about the water saving button and let them take it to support the toilet training at home.
  • Standing up for the economical use of water in the school, asking for water saving buttons if necessary, communicate the children’s 'royal decree' and the results of research to other classes and parents.
  • Taking action together with the school, municipality or association in order to care for water.
  • Organise a water reception and show for the parents and grandparents. Dramatize the story. Announce the 'Royal Decree' and make an appeal for participation.
  • Setting out and observing a feeding board, making a feeding ball.
  • Taking part in counting campaigns.​​​​​​


For those who want even more

  • Would you like more inspiration for even more water activities? See the 'Doe de Deau - teaching package for toddlers' developed for the City of Roeselare (2016). Box 3 is about 'Toddlers in action to deal sustainably with water'.
Klaspop Noor op het potje
Classroom doll Noor on the potty