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Car Wash Sensory Bin

Is there anything better than an activity that’s fun AND productive? Enjoy a warm, sunny day outside by setting up your very own miniature car wash! Children will love getting all of their toy vehicles squeaky-clean, and learn how to share toys and the water if you’ve got a group of children participating.

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Activity PDF

A fun way to clean up and enjoy the outdoors!

Start off by reading a book with your child to spark interest and get their creativity flowing. Then, head over to the “car wash!” Have them help fill a bin with water and mix in some dish soap. Find a warm spot outside to settle down and drive up the toy cars for a wash! While your child is playing, make sure to stir up conversation about colors, numbers or other interests they have right now. Have your child also exchange toys with you back and forth — this will help build their confidence to ask and exchange with other people. 

🌊 Messy alert! Your child will likely get wet during this activity, so have a towel and change of clothes ready just in case.

📚 Books to explore: Car Wash by Sandra Steen and Susan Steen, Car Wash Kid by Cathy Goldberg Fishman, and Curious George Car Wash By H.A. Rey.

🔢 Count your findings. Have your child count the number of dirty cars, clean cars, or cars in total.


For this activity you will need:

Toy cars (or trucks, bikes or other vehicles)

Dish soap 

Wash cloths 



Learning Outcomes




Social interest


Offering toys


Step 1:

Have your child gather their toy cars or other vehicles.

Step 2:

Take a small bin and fill it halfway with warm water and dish soap.

Step 3:

Take the bin outside to your driveway or sidewalk and have your child drive up their cars for the wash.

Step 4:

Using a washcloth, scrub each vehicle clean.

⬆️ For older preschoolers: Have them help set up the car wash. Make it even more elaborate by having them draw a road on the sidewalk/driveway.

⬇️ For younger toddlers: You might have to give them directions one at a time and model the washing before they join the activity. Then slowly back away and they will continue on their own. Speak with them to keep them engaged.

Playful Questions

How can we clean these vehicles? 

How do we make bubbles? 

Should we use cold or warm water?

What do you do with the washcloth?

How many cars do we have?

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