If you’re looking for a way to spend a couple hours with your child(ren) outside, and want to do something that’s at least a little productive, I suggest washing your car.
Is washing your car with the help of children extremely inefficient? Yes.
Is the end goal to have a clean car? Not necessarily. In fact, in some places, your car may actually be dirtier when you’re done, than before you started.
In my case, I had two helpers, my four-year-old son (Middle Man) and my two-year-old daughter (The Blonde Bomber). The first thirty minutes of our activity involved me explaining how to untangle the hose and turn the water on. After untangling both kids from the hose and turning the water on myself, we realized the shut off switch for the sprayer didn’t work. The hose was squirting full blast and could not be stopped. This didn’t seem to slow down Middle Man one bit, he happily squirted the same spot on my van for ten straight minutes.
When it came to actually washing my van, The Blonde Bomber refused to use a traditional cloth, instead, she preferred to use a My Little Pony doll to help with her cleaning. She held tightly onto the pony’s legs, dipped its purple mane in the soap and scrubbed violently on the side of my van. She spent the next 45 minutes or so, re-soaping the same spot dozens of times, while leaving other parts of the van untouched. Each time she would return for more soap, she would reach a little further into the bucket and come out a little soapier, until finally, she climbed entirely into the bucket and began flinging handfuls of soap at her brother…
…and that’s when I decided the van was clean enough for me.