Kids Activities Series: Good Clean Fun

In continuing with our Activities Series
Good “Clean” Fun
These fun activities are things that aren’t too messy, or if they do make a mess, at least it’s a “clean” mess!

Bathtub paints are the epitome of good clean fun!  My son LOVES to paint during his bath, and the best part is that it’s soap! It rinses right off without any staining.

Of course there’s always the good ol’ squirt bottle or squirt gun fight.  Outdoor use recommended.

Got balloons?  Fill them with water and have a water balloon fight, or put in a tiny hole with a pin, and squirt each other.  Also an outdoor activity.

Soap Souffle made with Ivory soap bar in microwave for 1 minute is a fun and clean experiment. Actually, Steve Spangler has a bunch of experiments for kids (and adults) to enjoy that you can do right at home with a few household items.

Have the kids pour baking soda into vinegar to listen to the bubbles.  You can use solution this to clean (see my cleaning guide)!

Often when I’m cooking I let my son “wash” dishes.  I get a tub full of soapy warm water in the sink and throw in plastic cups, measuring spoons (anything plastic works).  He stands on a chair and uses a wash rag or sponge to wash them all.  This activity lasts him at least 30 minutes, but can get a bit wet if you allow it.

While you’re letting them play with water, let them give their dolls or toy cars baths.

Here is my son hosting a “car wash” out on the back deck.  When he was done, he decided to give the deck a good washing, too.  (Ignore the mismatched clothes…I assure you that never happens here.)
Or, you can all go outdoors and wash the real car together.  LOADS of fun squirting each other with the hose or getting all soapy!
Better yet, if you don’t want to get wet, just let them run through the sprinkler in their bathing suits or rain gear.  Don’t have a sprinkler? Use a hose.  (Also works on the dogs)
Shaving cream in bathtub or on a kitchen table is good smelling fun!  The clean up is easy and the whole room smells great for a couple of hours.  This is especially good to do if you’re expecting company and the house doesn’t smell so fresh.  Or, when you’ve cooked fish! The kids can practice writing their names, letters, numbers, or just draw.  Be prepared for a bath afterwards (or at least a change of clothes).
You can also have them take the shaving cream and a razor (without a blade) and shave their face or legs while you shave.  Or, in the fall, shave a pumpkin!

Need another use for your Ivory soap?  “Snow” paintings!  Just grate the bar of soap with a kitchen grater into a bowl.  Add water and mix with a hand mixer for a while. Pour it out on a table or cookie sheet, and let the kids “paint” in it. When they’re done with their pictures, lay a black (or dark blue) sheet of construction paper on top.  Make an imprint of the picture by pressing down on the sheet.  Carefully lift it up and set to dry into a very cool pattern.
Does your little guy (or gal) like dinosaurs?  Excavating (the cleaner way) may be a fun activity!  Freeze little plastic dinosaurs in plastic containers filled with water. Give the kids small spoons or tools, an eye dropper, and warm water to excavate the dinosaurs.  There’s also a dirtier version of this involving sand, but that’s not appropriate for this post (this is the clean fun ideas).
Need to clean the house?  Have no fear, this can get the young ones involved and hold their attention for hours (at least it does with my toddler).  Give them a washcloth and squirt bottle filled with water, some instructions, and minor supervision.  Let them wash tables, walls, doors, floors, etc.In keeping with the cleaning theme, you can always have them help you sort laundry (socks are great), dust with a damp cloth or duster, or vacuum (if you’re brave enough).  I also let my goober unload the dishwasher with me…just the silverware and small plastic items.  Yes, it does take longer (and supervision) this way, but it’s a good teachable moment!

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