Looking for something so unbelievably easy to do with your kids today? Let them wash the toys. This fantastic indoor activity gives kids a job to do that teaches a life skill and can jump start their own play time. Learn why “wash the toys” is one of the most perfect kids activities.
What is Wash the Toys?
Confession: I definitely do not clean our toys enough. Or at all.
Unless there’s an outbreak of something unholy floating through my family, cleaning toys I absolutely at the bottom of my to-do list and it stays there.
But I thought: wait a second.
Kids love jobs.
Kids love projects.
Kids love scrubbing.
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Kids love water, bubbles, toys, and sponges… and that is how I decided to outsource toy cleaning to my kids in this pretty-much-perfect indoor activity.
This toy washing station ended up being the kind of activity that kills two birds with one stone. (Except there were no stones and no birds were harmed in the making of this quirky bubble bath, which was inspired by this LEGO Washing Activity.)
By the end of this activity, I had at the end was a basket of clean toys and kids playing together for 20 minutes.
What more could I actually ask from this activity?!
RELATED: Need more super easy indoor activity ideas? I’ve got you covered! You’ll love my list of 40+ fantastic activities.
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- Two sensory bins (mine were 17 qts and 28 qts)
- Tear free bubble bath
- Scrubbing tools
- Plastic toys that are okay to get wet
Remember: complicated set-ups or gorgeous creations on Pinterest are not necessary for kids to love an activity. Bless those beautiful pictures of set-ups for kids, my creations will never be that gorgeous.
But you know what my activities are? Effective. Engaging. I remind myself often that kids don’t need fancy to have fun.
RELATED: There are just 15 activity supplies that I use over and over for most of my activities. See this list here.
I started by filling the smaller container with tear free bubble bath and water – made it nice and bubbly. I set that bin inside the other bin (we are double bagging here people).
Next to the bin, I threw in a bunch of plastic toys – balls, cars, animals – all the stuff from the “random-doesn’t-have-a-designated-home toy bin”.
My kids (4.5, 3, and 17 months old) loved this. They were so serious about their washing.
Naturally the older two did most of the actually washing, brushing, and drying, but their “taby” brother loved dropping the toys in and out of the water. He got an A+ for mimicking the big kids.
What did kids learn with the “Wash the Toys” activity?
What I love about an activity like this is that it actually has more to offer than meets the eye:
- Sensory activity – playing with water and bubbles
- Fine motor skills – working with their hands to clean
- Imaginary play – this invited a lot of make believe!
Just because an activity only takes a minute to set up or seems so simple to us adults – that doesn’t mean it isn’t exactly what our kids are after or exactly what they need.
Frequently Asked Questions
Try to shift away from kid ages and look more at developmental stages. This activity is great for a child who: can hold a scrubby brush, enjoys working on a task, doesn’t eat bubbles. You will know when your child is able to handle this kind of play.
There are lots of different ways to clean toys. One of my favorites is in the dishwasher. Remember that you can fill it with toys and give them a hot rinse there.
It totally depends on the child and the child’s interests but my personal favorite activities can be found in my list of “heroes:” activities that save the day.