For Zoey’s second birthday I wanted to include the plastic bin we had on the deck for one of the sensory stations. It currently contained all the deck and sand toys we had and needed to be emptied. I also wanted to go through our toys and see which ones fit the theme of the sensory bins I was going to include for the birthday party and which toys needed to be packed away so the toys wouldn’t get too confusing. I was debating going through all the toys after the kids went to bed but why do that and interrupt your hobby time when you can include the kids in the fun. Since Ada and Zoey had been using the sand toys in the garden and I wanted them to have a purpose too I ended up dumping out our plastic bin, wiping the dirt off, and filling it with soapy water so they could clean the toys. If I had wanted the toys fully cleaned I would’ve dumped out the water and refilled it once or twice more but this was mainly so I could go through everything and pack it up or set it aside for the party. If your kids are Doc McStuffins fans you could further entice them by mentioning the toys have the “dusty musties”… but it’s fun enough and they enjoy ‘cleaning’ toys enough that I didn’t have to entice them at all.
- Large bin if you want all the water in one place
- Dish soap to clean and make the awesome bubbles
- Toys to clean
- (Optional) buckets or bottles to transport or pour water from. This was through the toys we were cleaning
- (Optional) washcloths to wipe the toys if required
I started by bringing the bin inside to fill using the kitchen sink. This would be simpler if you have a garden hose in the backyard. You could always use buckets to help transport the water and either leave the water in the buckets or pour them into your bin. I then added dishsoap to the bin and two empty dishsoap bottles I had been saving for the kids.
My kitchen faucet extends so I was able to pull it over the front of the sink to fill the bin. I then draped the faucet inside the bin and kept an eye on it just in case it came out from the water pressure.
I then brought it out for the kids to clean with… or play with while I went on to go through the toys on the deck.
- You could fill up other buckets or empty laundry detergent bottles to let the kids have plain water to rinse off with. If you didn’t want to use the large bin you could fill the bottles or buckets with soapy water and/or water dyed slightly with food dye.
- If you like the idea and want to extend it further for a playdate you could always lay out some toys and washclothes and have the kids clean the toys. You could even lay out towels for a drying station.
- Ada enjoys, and has taught Zoey, to use our sidewalk chalk to color her scooter and toys (mainly vehicles) and then when done washes them off using a handheld broom and/or water so you can color them again.
I hope you can use this to get your kids to help clean up or give them something fun to do so you can relax and enjoy the weather. Let me know how it goes in the comments below, on my Facebook page, or through Instagram. Have a great and clean day!