Toddler Playtime: Make a DIY Toy Carwash!

Summer’s winding down and getting through these last unscheduled days can be a bit of a challenge.

With my 3 kiddos at home with me most of the time, I’m always on the lookout for easy and fun activities that will entertain them all.

Inspiration struck yesterday as I watched my 3- and 5-year-olds play with toy cars on the floor.

Wouldn’t it be fun to make a toy-sized car wash for them to drive their vehicles through?

Here’s what we did:

Since I knew this sucker would have to stand up to those not-so-gentle toddler hands AND be water-friendly, I headed to my kitchen cabinets. If you’re like me, you have a glut of food storage containers sans lids, and this project is a great way to reuse those.

What you’ll need:

1. A medium sized food storage container

2. A package of (unused) kitchen sponges

3. Straws

4. A disposable kitchen cloth

Tape and scissors (butterfly kiddie scissors were the best I could do)


1. Cut out an entrance and exit to the carwash on opposite ends of the container.

2. Cut the sponges into 2 shapes: long, narrow strips and squares.

3. Cut the straws (leaving the “bendy” side attached) so they fit inside the container top to bottom. We used 4.

4. Attach the sponge squares to the ends of the straws

5. Line the sponge strips along the inside of the container.

6. Insert the bottoms of the straws into the sponge strips to create the carwash’s “scrubbers.”

7. Cut the disposable cloth so that it fits inside the container, and cut fringe strips along the bottom. Attach it to the middle of the container using packing tape on both sides.

8. Add a little bit of sudsy water, toy cars, and voila!

A word to the wise: this can get messy so this might be a better outdoor than indoor activity.

This is a great, inexpensive project for kids of all ages. My 9-year-old even had fun with this (though I doubt he’d admit it!).

Have fun!

Mary Lauren Weimer is a social worker turned mother turned writer. Her blog, My 3 Little Birds, encourages moms to put down the baby books for a moment and tell their own stories. In addition to Toddler Times, find her at DisneyBaby. Connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

More by Mary Lauren:

Potty Training Tips from the Experts: Moms!

More Than You Ever Wanted to Know about My Toddler’s Potty Issues

How to Think Like a Toddler


Article Posted 6 years Ago

Videos You May Like