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We had a little pretend play grooming session over here the other day! Kingston loves his real puppy, and is fascinated with caring for him. He loves giving him treats (and basically ANYTHING he is eating), playing with him, and watching him get groomed. I thought it would be fun for K to be able to groom his own puppies and pets.
For the first part of his 2 step grooming process, I laid out four of his stuffed puppies (this little Webkinz Chihuahua reminds us of our dog Krull!). I also laid out two of our dogs brushes: a pet slicker brush and the Shed Ender Pet Deshedder (which if you don't have one of these for your dog, you need one!). They both have different weights, textures, and purposes, so K was able to utilize them both on each puppy.
He did a great job selecting and brushing each puppy. He concentrated very hard on each one. It was really cute to watch!
When he brushed the chihuahua, we talked about what kind of dog he was and how he looked like our Krull.
This adorable puppy by Jellycat has some really nice fur that Kingston was able to brush really well. He spent the most time grooming this dog because it was so lifelike! His fine motor skills certainly got a workout.
After he was done making his dogs look beautiful, I set up a washing station. I selected a random bunch of pets from our toy bin (including these bunnies, these cats and turtles, Lady and The Tramp, these dogs, and some grab bag animals!)
I put some water and apple Babyganics foam soap in a plastic tub. Then I gave him a wash cloth and a toothbrush to wash his animals.
I explained to him what he was doing, and he got right to it scrubbing the animals! He washed them with the toothbrush and the wash cloth and swished them around in the water.
I love his look of concentration! It took some serious fine motor skills for him to figure out how to hold the toothbrush and slippery animal properly.
He had a ton of fun just splashing in the water and making the animals swim.
Then we started playing a seek and find game. I would ask him to find certain animals, and he would search for them. Mostly, he wanted to keep throwing the toothbrush in the water and searching for that. In the picture below, he was calling out for his "brah brah?!"
He was extra excited every time he found it!
He even gave himself an impromptu hair brushing. Score!
The grooming activity in total took up almost two hours of his toddler time. That is a TOTAL success in my book! He loved it. Not only did he get to participate in pretend play, but also sensory play, fine motor play, and water play.