My toddler son has a fascination with making cars dirty and then cleaning them in a car wash. I'm afraid that we don't wash our car as often as we should do, so it's only through playing with his toy cars that he is able to have this experience. Luckily toy cars are quite resiliant and can stand up to repeated washing!
Car wash crafts
It's pretty easy to make a simple car wash. Here's a cardboard box car wash that I made for my toddler using a painted cardboard box, with strips of felt and sponges as accessories.
You can find another cardboard box car wash here, this one is slightly larger and even has rotating brushes.
|Cardboard box car wash from Jennifer's Little World|
Car wash activities
Instead of making a car wash for toy cars, why not make a (nearly!) full size one, for your children to drive their ride-on toys through! There's an example of a kiddie car wash here, you just need some kind of frame to drive through, and sprinklers, hoses and sponges.
Toddlers also love washing things, so set them up in the garden with their ride-on toys, some buckets, washing up liquid, sponges and cleaning cloths.
You can also do this on a smaller scale with toy cars. My son also loves making the cars dirty and then washing them, you can use sand or dirt to make them dirty, and also shaving foam is fun to play with and wash off.
Of course the best way to play car washing is for your toddler to help you wash your real car! My son loves helping to wash the car and it's a very useful skill to teach them for the future!
Finally, how about a trip to an actual car wash!
Car wash books
Do you know of any books about the car wash that you can recommend? I struggled to find any!
Car wash toys
LEGO Duplo 5696 Car Wash - as well as washing the car you can also put petrol in and adjust the wheels, this will keep a toddler entertained for ages!
Hot Wheels Colour Shifters Bubble-Matic Car Wash - for slightly older toddlers as there are small parts. The cars actually change colour as you wash them.
Playmobil Car Wash - You really can't beat Playmobil for attention to detail, and this is a wonderful car wash toy for older children.
VTech Toot Toot Driver Garage - my son loves his garage for toy cars, and many of them like this one also feature a car wash. This carwash toy would be suitable for younger toddlers.