Need a few minutes to breathe today and have your kids occupied?
Want something quick and easy to set up that you know will be a hit!
One of our favorite simple activities is to give our toy cars a bath. The kids always think it is hysterical. We have been doing it for over 10 years and they always love it...
Today instead of using our cars, we're going to wash APPLES! And we're not just going to wash them with water, we are going to "wash" them and play with them in a FOAM BATH!
We love doing apple themed activities during August and September. Apples are everywhere in decorations for Back to School and they are colorful and fun to explore, create with, and eat.
Creating a washing station sensory bin isn't a new idea. Preschool and toddler teachers have been creating different washing stations for years! My absolute favorite type of washing station is the doll bath station over at Happy Hooligans.
This apple foam bath activity helps kids work on the following skills...
- Simple grabbing/squeezing/brushing skills (fine motor skills)
- Hand-eye coordination as they move/grab and scrub
- Team work- if you do this with friends, they have to take turns, share materials, share space. All of the kids at our house wanted to join in because this was SOOO fun!
- Problem solve- how to hold the squeeze bottle and the apple, whats the best way to wash the apple...
- Experiment- how to make more bubbles, how to clean the fastest, how to rinse off the bubbles, how to make the bubbles get smaller, etc.
I like to think of this as a precursor to getting my kids washing my dishes too. If they can scrub an apple, they can probably scrub a cup or a dish too, right?
What materials do you need for an apple foam bath?
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- tear-free bubble bath
- measuring cup
- hand mixer
- squeeze bottles
- large plastic container
- several apples
- vinyl table cloth (optional)
- * Add in some cinnamon or a squirt of apple scented shampoo for extra good smelling foam
Can you reuse the apples afterwards?
Yes, we like to keep these apples to print with and paint with... as long as they don't get too mushy. These are not ideal to eat.
How to set up your apple washing bin?
1. Set out a large plastic tub outside or inside (depending on what you'd prefer.
2. Put a large vinyl tablecloth underneath the bin if you'll be inside
3. Make your foam! We used tear-free bubble bath and water. Our friends No Time for Flashcards, Growing a Jeweled Rose and Busy Toddler are the foam (bubble bin) making experts. Click on their site names to see how they make it!
We just mixed our foam up inside of our large plastic sensory bin using our hand mixer. So easy! We added some food coloring as well! We should've added more for more vibrant colors.
4. Add apples and scrubbers/sponges/washcloths to the bucket
5. Fill up some squeeze bottles with warm and cold water and place them next to the large plastic tub.
Now you're ready to play!
Encourage kids to explore the materials and scrub those apples!
If you use tear-free bubble bath, then if kids accidentally get any in their eyes, it shouldn't be a big deal. My daughter was ready to cover herself from head to toe in the bubbles!
As your foam gets watered down by more water and played with, it changes a bit. My daughter called this stage the poison apple stage! It made her think of Snow White and the evil queen's apples. LOL.
Don't have apples around? Try using something else. Toys, trucks, balls... whatever you have! I guarantee whatever you try will be a hit in this foam bath activity!
Want some more apple activities? Here are a few of our favorite apple activities for kids...
- Painting with apples
- Post it Apple Picking
- Spin art apple banner
- Build my name apple tree game - this is a fun variation to try after you try our simple apple picking game
- Apple Snack and game
- Make cinnamon apple pie muffins