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  • Cristi Wuenschel

Cardboard Car Wash Preschool Dramatic Play Activity

As an Experience Early Learning Blog Ambassador, we receive the Experience Early Learning preschool curriculum in exchange for sharing our honest and authentic stories resulting from our personal experiences. As always, our opinions on amazing things for children are 100% our own. Keep in mind that all preschoolers do things in their own time and on their own terms. What one is ready for, another might not be. Please use your best judgement when planning activities for your children.

collage of cardboard carwash pictures with text: Cardboard Car Wash Preschool Activity

Our Experience Early Learning topic for this week was Soapy Water and we learned about pet groomers, car washes and even washing dishes.

preschooler pushing car on floor

One of this week's favorite activities was the Cardboard Car Wash dramatic play Investigation Station.


We turned an ordinary cardboard box into an extraordinary handmade car wash dramatic play, which was lots of fun in the block center.

car wash made from cardboard with sign: Large Parking

Each of the car wash doors was a different size and allowed the children to explore small, medium and large in relationship to the various trucks and cars in that center.

preschooler pushing toy cars

Dramatic play is important for little kids because it allows them to experience different roles and work on social-emotional skills at the same time.

preschooler pushing toy car into cardboard car wash

Experience Early Learning (formerly Mother Goose Time) includes Big Questions to get your preschoolers thinking with each of the Investigation Station activities.

  • What does a car wash do?

  • How can you get something clean?

  • Which vehicles fit inside each car wash?

  • Which way do cars enter and exit?

These questions are a wonderful way to encourage creative thinking, problem solving and even verbal communication skills.

cardboard car wash with sign: Medium Parking

A box can become anything and preschoolers are incredibly imaginative in their play. Add a few pieces of ribbon and twine and boom! Instant car wash.


I love watching the children play together cooperatively and explore conflict resolution with activities such as this one.

cardboard car wash with sign: Small Parking

This week's Cardboard Car Wash was such a quick & easy idea that provided days of fun!

preschooler pulling car out of cardboard car wash

Experience Early Learning has done an excellent job of putting together cohesive, well-rounded themes with lots of fun and engaging activities that hit all the necessary skills and standards.

preschooler pushing toy car

Don't forget to check back next week to see what we're up to as we finish our Bubbles, Boats & Floats theme!

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