Do you have a car lover in your life? My kids love everything with wheels! And I do mean EVERYTHING. They are also lucky enough to have a very generous grandpa who keeps a stash of cars ready for them to pick from under his desk at work. We have accumulated quite a fleet of matchbox cars.
Of course they enjoy racing their cars around, but when I’m looking for a quieter activity for them I whip up this simple car wash station. It is their favorite thing to do with their cars. It’s one of my favorite activities for them, too, because it takes so little prep, and then they play for a LONG time!
You’ll need water with a little dish soap, clean water, and some cleaning utensils. I offer sponges cut into strips, cotton balls clipped into clothespins, washcloths, and q-tips. You could use whatever you have, though.
I recommend using cars that are painted and don’t have stickers for their designs, unless you don’t mind the water making the stickers come off.
That’s it! Just grab some stuff around the house and have a grand old time!
Both of my kids have loved this easy preschool activity starting well before they were 2 years old. Just be aware they’ll end up soaked! It’s still a hit with my 6 year old, too! (As long as I don’t make him share water containers with his sister, of course. That would be HORRIBLE.)
You don’t need an excuse to break out the car wash stuff, but this is also a great activity to tie into a read aloud book. My favorite read aloud series for young children that features cars is the Digby O’Day series.
Digby and his best friend Percy have all sorts of adventures, normally in Digby’s red convertible!
There are 3 books in the series written by Shirley Hughes and illustrated by Clara Villiamy. Digby O’Day in the Fast Lane is the first book in the series, but you do not necessarily need to read them in order.
Related: How I Keep Track of the Series We Read
(The series was published under the title Dixie O’Day in the UK, and there are 5 books in that series. I hope the other two books eventually get published in the US, too. If not, I might buy the UK version and just try to remember to say “Digby” instead of “Dixie.” We’ll see.)
I HIGHLY recommend this fully illustrated chapter book series. It has the wonderful (and incredibly rare) combination of having pictures on every page and also interesting enough that I really wonder what’s going to happen next!
There are only two main characters and color illustrations on every page – great for the preschool set! But it also has more complex sentence structure, so I recommend this series for every age! My 3 year old liked it enough to sit through 3 chapters in one sitting, and my 6 year old would listen to the whole thing in one sitting if I would read it to him.
Also, there are no special considerations or things that would be questionable – it’s all wholesome adventure!
Check out this read aloud series, then set up a car wash station for a fun book and preschool activity!