Some of S's favorite activities are the simplest to put together.  One such activity that is LOVED (yes, I had to use all caps since we do this at least once a week, if not more frequently) is what we call a "washing station".  As you may have deduced, it involves washing things.

I'm not sure what it is about washing that is so captivating to young children, but it's such a favorite at our house.  Sometimes S washes cars, or plasticware we've used in play...and sometimes her feet, or legs, or arms.  Though more often than not, she washes this guy:

He is, at this point, the cleanest dinosaur you will ever meet.

To set up a washing station, you need some sort of container.  Any will do - baking dish, plastic storage container, water table - you get the idea.  If you have a toddler, you might want to consider setting up something like I outline in my Managing Messy Play post.  A little bit of soap, a little bit of water, and something for scrubbing and you're ready to go!

I like to add an additional sensory component to our washing stations by giving S several different textured scrubbers.  I bought all of these at the Dollar Store.

And there you have it!  I cannot even begin to count the number of hours S has merrily played with this simple set up.  Now if only I could find a way to keep that love of washing alive until she's old enough to do our dishes...

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All activities here are activities I feel are safe for my own children.  As your child's parents/guardians, you will need to decide what you feel is safe for your family.  I always encourage contacting your child's pediatrician for guidance if you are not sure about the safety/age appropriateness of an activity. All activities on this blog are intended to be performed with adult supervision.  Appropriate and reasonable caution should be used when activities call for the use of materials that could potentially be harmful, such as scissors, or items that could present a choking risk (small items), or a drowning risk (water activities), and with introducing a new food/ingredient to a child (allergies).  Observe caution and safety at all times.  The author and blog disclaim liability for any damage, mishap, or injury that may occur from engaging in any of these activities on this blog.


  1. I say give her the dishes... :)

  2. I am glad I stopped upon this :) My 4 year old LOVES doing dishes with me (yes, I had to use caps, too, because ahe loves it that much as well!) and has been asking for a washing work for her school time. I never thought to use different things to wash with, such as the different types of scrubbers! She does, however, specifically want to wash the dishes - she loves the 'soaping', and she calls it - so that will come in very handy long term :)

    1. Hi Amy! So glad you stopped by, too! That is too cute. S is less passionate about dishes than dinosaurs, so I am a little jealous there. ;) I love the term soaping. GENIUS! If that is her favorite part, she may also enjoy this (another one of S's loves):

      Happy soaping! :)


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