Always grateful for the sharing of ideas, an Instagram post inspired our dog figurine washing activity. Each day, I’ve offered the children I work with opportunities to help care for our family dog. Meanwhile, they can feed her, fill her water bowl and help to walk her on her leash. But before long, they will likely be interested in bathing her too! In the meantime, this dog washing activity will offer fun hands-on washing experience, play and practice.

Dog Figurine Washing Materials (shown in the photo):

Waterproof mat
3 Matching glass dishes
1 Cup clean sand from a local craft store, wet to desired consistency
2 Condiment squeeze bottles – 1st with liquid dishwashing soap (4 pumps); 2nd one with clear water
1 Schleich dog
Small cotton cloth
Natural sponge
Small wooden scrub brush
1 Small tray
Non-slip shelf liner
Small bucket to empty water as needed

Preparation for the Dog Wash:

While standing on a step stool, he removed the tops from each squeeze bottle. After setting each bottle top on the counter, I asked that he add four pumps of liquid dishwashing soap into the first bottle. As he pumped our soap dispenser, I counted out loud with him, “1,2,3,4”.

Next, he slowly (to keep bubbles from forming) added water to the first bottle. Again, he added water slowly to the second bottle. Finally, he placed the tops back on each bottle and began turning them slightly. Respectfully I asked, “May I take a turn?” After he nodded “yes”, I gave each an exaggerated twist for him to see. These intentional and deliberate movements help him see that each bottle top closed securely.

Continuing to prepare, I invited him to carry one bottle at a time with two hands to his table. After carefully placing each on the table top, he sat in the chair. Right away he noticed a cup of sand on the table. While making eye contact, I asked him if he would like to pour the sand into the dish. Cautiously, he added the sand.  When he finished waving his hand across the smooth sand, I handed him the dog figure. Lastly, I took a turn with the activity to model one way to roll the dog in the sand, wash and clean up.

Ready to wash:

Once it was his turn, he rolled the dog figure in the sand and thoroughly enjoyed making a mess of it! Remembering, he then moved the dog to the clear dish. Using the first water bottle, he squeezed soapy water all over it. With great focus, he scrubbed it with the brush, splashed it in the bubbly water and followed up with the sponge.

Next, he set the dog in the third dish to be rinsed with the clear water from the second squeeze bottle. Once he felt it was clean, he placed it on the cotton cloth to be dried.

After the dog was buffed dry, I asked if he would like to wash any other animals. He smiled, stood up and walked to our activity shelf. He picked up the farm animal basket – which is where the dog figure is usually kept – and carried it to his table. Without a doubt, our farm animals have never been cleaner! 🙂

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