Object Washing Work

Description: All children love to work with water and they also love jobs. Give them a large object and let them scrub it clean. I think they have more fun and are more determined if the object is actually dirty.

Goal: The goal is to create concentration and a sense of pride through a multi-step activity.


  • Large objects such as a plastic animal, shells, really anything you have laying around the house that can get wet.
  • Small cup of water
  • Large bowl or bin
  • Cleaning tools: scrubber, sponge, and/or toothbrush
  • Dry towel


First make sure the object is actually dirty, have your child dip the object in the mud or puddle so they actually have a job to do.

Set all the materials out on their workstation so they can independently carry out the task. If you set this up so they can do it themselves, this activity will buy you 10 to 20 minutes of free time!

On the workstation there should be:

  • A cup of water that is just the size for the amount of water you want them to use.
  • A large bowl or dish bin that they will wash the object in.
  • One to three types of scrubbers, toothbrushes, and or sponges
  • A towel to dry things afterwards.
  • The children will clean the object until they feel complete.
  • The work is not finished until they have cleaned up after themselves.
  • The expectation can be that they are done when the workstation is put back for the next person.

See photos below for more examples: