One of S's favorite parts of our beloved Painting with Cars activity is the soap and water car wash we do at the end. I have seen many a car wash activity and have always vaguely contemplated doing a larger scale car wash ourselves, but then I saw this AWESOME Exploding Car Wash from What Do We Do All Day? (who is an amazing resource for toy car activities) and it pushed me over the edge. We were in. We were doing a car wash!
Capitalizing on the summer weather, I opted to create one in our water table (have you read our post on why we love our water table with 10 creative ways to use it? If not, it has some terrific baby X faces in it. Just sayin'). We simply couldn't dream of doing a car activity without inviting S's friend A to join us. A LOVES cars. Like, really. Really. When he was 2, he could tell you the make of most cars on sight. See what I mean? We had to include him.
To make our car wash last, I decided to have three stages. Stage one was "foamy soap". S and A each got to choose a color for their foamy soap. They opted for pink and blue foamy soap, which cracked me up.
After their hands, the table, and all the cars were sufficiently soaped, it was time for phase two. Dry, powdered soap (baking soda). Each kiddo got a box to dispense.
Once dispensed, they both enjoyed scrunching the dry soap into the foamy soap.
The cars looked pretty cool after receiving such a complete soap treatment.
They surveyed their work, and once they felt like there was adequate mixing and coverage of the two types of soaps, it was time for the rinse. We LOVE baking soda and vinegar around here, and some of you had commented on the blog's Facebook Page that your children (or you) hated the smell of vinegar. It doesn't bother either me or S, but I totally hear you - it is kind of a strong smell. I'd been pondering how to address that, and came up with an idea - peppermint extract. So we tried it out by adding a few drops to our squeezy condiment bottles full of vinegar.
It. Was. Awesome. You could not smell the vinegar at all. Not even a little! And our whole deck smelled like refreshing peppermint. It was so great! Even though the smell of vinegar didn't bother me before, I now only want to use peppermint vinegar because it is really so lovely!
Because of the shaving cream, the bubbles were ever so dramatic! The kids were so very focused.
When they were all done squirting peppermint vinegar, there was this amazing foam for them to mix around and play with. Some time later, they were ready to do the final stage of the car wash - regular old soap and bubbles (still so fun). It was such a fun, messy way to spend a playdate!
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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.