Summer is the perfect season for engaging in messy fun. Hands-on activities are great for happily passing the hours while the kids are out of school. Plus, the warm weather means you can take the mess outside, which leads to easy clean up for you.
One of our favorite messy activities this time of year is to play “colorful car wash.” The kids love the bright colors of the play soap and are very content to spend lots of time rinsing and drying their vehicles.
To set up your own colorful car wash, you’ll need:
- foam shaving cream
- food coloring
- paint brushes, wash cloths and other painting supplies
- a few bowls
- some cars to clean
We used toy trucks this time around, but don’t be afraid to go big. In the past, we’ve had lots of success setting up a bike wash for the kids’ trikes, bikes and scooters. You could also invite over a group of friends and ask them all to bring their favorite push cars or wagons for a car wash party.
To make the soap, spray the shaving cream into a small bowl and mix in some food coloring.
Once you have the colors you’re after, the secret is to pop the bowls into the freezer for about 30 minutes. This will help the colorful soaps stand up to the sun and prevent instant melting.
When the soaps are nice and frosty, head outside with your paint brushes and cars.
Now is the time to get creative. Kids can use paint brushes, foam brushes, kitchen sponges, wash cloths and their hands to cover their vehicles with soap.
It’s also a good idea to keep a bowl of clean water and a few towels handy so kids can rinse off their hands from time to time.
Once everyone’s had their fill of painting and mixing with the colorful soaps, it’s time to rinse. Again, a variety of materials can be used, from wet paint brushes and sponges to funnels and cups full of water. Our tool of choice is definitely the spray bottle, which the kids will use for 45 minutes straight without becoming bored.
Here’s one last tip: These play soaps can be used for decorating and cleaning lots of additional items in the backyard. We’ve tried cleaning our water table toys, found rocks, our trees, and even each other in a small kiddie pool. Everything cleans up very easily with just a little water, so don’t be afraid to be inventive!
Photo Credits: Stephanie Morgan