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How to Create a Language Adventure in the Car Wash

It's the middle of winter, our roads have been coated with salt, snow fell and melted away; your car is dirty. When was the last time you took your car through the car wash?

A speech therapy clinic I work in has a car wash for a neighbor. Many of our children are rewarded after a good session with a ride through the car wash. These children look forward to their car wash time more than the tokens, stickers and lollipops I shower them with. Why?

The car wash is an immersive experience! As you sit, protected by (hopefully) rolled up windows and metal, your vehicle is assaulted with the loud battering of water, then the speckled spattering of foamy soap, pattering of a turning mop, a mist of gentle water and finally blasted with a gust of air. There are bubbles and shiny things, colors (if you pay extra for the Triple Foam) and even perfumed soap smells if you leave your vents open for it.

While all this is happening outside your car, you are just a pleasant observer. An occasional rhythmic vibration may shake you, but otherwise you are untouched by the chaos. There is a predictable pattern to the car wash as well. The dryer will never come before the mist! And each stage has its predictable movement and sound. Each part works in an expected manner.

Now, rather than just passively taking in the situation, let's put some language and imagination on top! Add your robotic and water sound effects and a shocking "What's that?!" when a new hose turns on and then "Where's it going?" as the hose moves behind the car. Try making up a car wash song, maybe to the tune of Wheels on the Bus: "The brush on the car goes swish, swish, swish! The bubbles on the car go pop pop pop!"

Next time you're in need of a car wash, bring the kids along! Put down your phone(s) as the car wash powers up and buckle in for a great underwater adventure. Will you be mermaids washing the seashell car? Or maybe underwater Transformers preparing to battle Poseidon? Regardless, you can make this a fun, interactive experience and it's an easy way to spend 5 minutes playing with your child.

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