Try this simple water play idea with your kids, get them to wash the dishes! This easy sensory play idea is quick to set up, low mess, and lots of fun!
Sometimes I go all out and set up elaborate play spaces and activities for my kids. But some days I am all about making life easy and keeping it simple, and this was simple kind of day.
When Morgan asked to get out water play this afternoon, I thought about finding the plastic tub and setting up the little table with towels and various accessories, and I also thought about just saying no. It’s cold and we didn’t have long before we needed to pick the girls up from school, and I didn’t want to bother with the mess…
Then I stopped and thought for a moment.
Was there a way we could make this work for everyone?
How I could keep it simple, not go insane, and still offer him some water play?
Answer – fill the kitchen sink!
Try this Easy Water Play Idea – Washing Dishes.
Setting up this easy sensory play idea couldn’t be easier.
Put a small amount of warm soapy water in the bottom of the sink. You don’t need much water, a centimetre or two in the bottom of the sink is enough, and less water means less mess.
Add some non-breakable cutlery or crockery. We had a stack of not very dirty plastic plates and cups, so we used those, but if you don’t have kid-friendly crockery a bunch of spoons works great too.
Pop on an apron (or just accept that your child’s clothes will get wet) and pass your child the dish brush!
We used a sturdy chair as a step, and tucked a tea towel in front of the sink to catch any drips. We added another tea towel on the bench next to the sink to put the clean dishes on (a dish rack is great, but ours was full!) and one last tea towel for drying the dishes.
Morgan spent a happy half an hour washing, rewashing, stacking and drying his dishes.
My toddler got to enjoy some water play, without fuss and without too much mess, and I got the dishes washed! What a simple, easy, play idea!
Read the comments or scroll down to add your own:
Colleen - Sunrise Learning Lab says
Looks like dish washing was a hit!
Mine love to help wash dishes, too. Found your blog thru the We play link ups.
hope you will come say hi on my blog, too.
Little Wonders' Days says
Score one for Mom!! Now if we could just get them to think that doing the laundry was fun:)
Goose Trap says
You are evil Kate, mo wonder we like you
Ah yes, the “you think it’s fun, but I’m making you work” routine! For it makes for a great time for them, but it takes me forever to sort the dishes. Perhaps I should just move to all plastic and Princess can do all the dishes? :D
I can’t believe how happy he looks! :D
Lori @ RRSAHM says
Hehe why haven’t I thought of this before? Must try it…
I am all about keeping it simple. The children usually do better when things a easy and the clean up is easy too! Thanks for sharing. :)
Mom and Kiddo says
Simple is always good, esp. when it involves learning how to do chores! :)
My sons love to do this – although I’m not sure that the dishes get any cleaner. And no matter that I’ve shown him lots of times, my eldest son puts cups full of water and upright in the dishrack to drain.
Love these kinds of activities, especially when a chore gets done in the mean time.
We love this one too. What a cute photo of Muski :)
I took some pictures of a similar thing this week except my little girl was doing her washing up at our very old kitchen sink (soon to be renovated) in her red tu-tu. I thought about saying no too but she loved it so much.
Cute pics Kate.
It’s amazing how long some kids will keep at this, too. My 4-year-old will stand at the sink, ‘washing’ the dishes for half an hour or more!