day 5 – wash the car

Car need washing? Engaging with kids is about way more than games and craft activities. Involve them in everyday jobs because kids like to help, and they love being with you. Fresh air is especially welcome just now so why not find a shady spot and wash the car. Play clothes or togs, empty plastic containers, rags or cloths and a little detergent is all you need to make it sparkle. Play your favourite music on the radio, and tell them about the Beatles, or whoever. If you’re a parent of the musical kind, sing songs while the gang is working.

If it’s a warm day, chasing the kids with the hose or letting them run through a sprinkler is a fun way to finish off. You’re probably all wet anyway.

Once you get this, there’s no end of things kids can help with. Washing, dusting, scrubbing, vacuuming, sweeping . . . even little ones can join in. Their attention span is limited, and they’ll need a guiding hand, but letting kids know they can contribute is important, even if it’s just tipping the dustpan into the bin. Kid-size brooms and small buckets are cheap enough but you don’t need to buy extra stuff. What smaller versions of household tools do you have on hand? Small scrubbing brushes, a dustpan or cobweb broom rather than the full-size broom you use . . . Hi ho.

Published by Dr Toni Risson

Dr Toni Risson is a storyteller and a cultural historian who has penned everything from children’s picture books to a PhD on the Magic of Lollies. An expert on the Greek cafe phenomenon, Toni curated Meet Me at the Paragon for the State Library of Queensland, and her latest book, Brisbane’s Greek Cafes: A Million Malted Milks, was a finalist in the 2019 Queensland Literary Awards. Having encountered the elegant Paragon Cafe in Katoomba as a child, Toni developed a fascination with silky oak panelling, bevelled mirrors and Art Deco wall lights long before she understood the stories behind Australia's iconic Greek cafe. She continues to document our lost café culture.

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