I got this idea when I was talking to my husband about one of his favourite annual childhood rainy day activities, Stuffed Animal Hospital. Essentially Chris and his sister would go around their house and gather all of the stuffed toys that needed a little TLC (buttons sewn on, a trip through the washing machine, torn appendages fixed and so on). They would diagnose the issues to the chief surgeon (mum) while she fixed them up. It would entertain them for a few hours and their toys would come out in better repair. Win Win.
The minions aren't quite old enough to have completely destroyed stuffed toys (minus the stuffed giraffe who Molly ripped the leg off of), and I don't want them within a 100 metre radius of sewing needles*, although some of their other toys are getting pretty gross. With Chris still suffering mid-flu-consumption I figured it was time for a little disinfection fun for everyone.
The TOY Wash
I used three large bowls (one for dirty toy storage, one for soapy water & one for rinsing), baby wash soap, some towels, a scrub brush, a pitcher for drying clean toys and a little imagination. For older kids you could do this in the bath tub or in a kitchen sink. After doing some research I also found this as a great outdoor activity on line at parentingeveryday that can be performed on bikes, toy cars or other outdoor play equipment.**
Molly washing up
Enter the scrub brush
Enter the force of destruction (boy child)
Some Tips For Toy Wash Success:
- Depending on the age of your child(ren) you may want to be the one to distribute the toys to make sure that things don't get too crazy
- Be prepared to be the official toy scrubber and dryer while the kids play in the water
- Don't fill the bowls too full, or let your child (err Jack) pick up the bowls and dump them on the ground
- Have a change of dry clothes on hand for after the event (or time right before bath time)
- Choose your toys carefully (make sure they can be washed) and dry them well to prevent rotting or damage***
- Have your children remove their shoes and socks before you begin the toy wash, otherwise you'll spend the next morning before daycare with little shoes and a hairdryer
Shiny Happy Toys
For another indoor toddler activity I tried recently click here
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*I can only imagine the carnage that would bring.
**My kitchen floor needed a good washing so I decided to brave the mess and embrace the chaos.
***Chris is still bitter about his ruined Lego from childhood Lego boat experiments. Apparently it was never the same.