Inspired recently by an Instagram post @teacherandthetots, I decided to create a dog figure washing activity. He loves dogs and has been asking for more responsibility in caring for our real dog. He loves to feed her, fill her water bowl and, most recently, walk her on a leash. I’m sure he will be interested in bathing her one day too!

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

I invited him to fill the two squeeze bottles with water at the kitchen sink. Standing on a step stool, he removed the tops from each bottle. I then asked him to add four pumps of liquid dishwashing soap from our dispenser into the first bottle. I counted out loud with him, “1,2,3,4”.

With the water running slowly to keep the bubbles down, he filled the first bottle. I could tell by the expression on his face that his mind processing the difference as he added water to the second bottle. He placed the tops back on each bottle, turning them slightly. I asked, “May I take a turn?” and gave each an exaggerated twist for him to see, and to be certain they were closed securely.

I asked him to carry one bottle at a time to his table. As he sat down, he noticed a cup of sand on the table. I asked him if he would like to pour the sand into the dish. He poured it carefully and then I handed him the dog figure and asked him to place it in the sand. I then presented the activity and replaced the water I had used before turning the work over to him.

He rolled the dog figure in the sand and thoroughly enjoyed making a mess of it! He then moved the dog to the next clear dish and using the first bottle, squeezed soapy water all over it. 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 … Our farm animals have never been cleaner! 🙂

We don’t have a water station set up in our home, however activities like these may encourage me to design one sooner rather than later. This activity involves movement, practical life skills and serves his three year old learning development.

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