We were having one of those days where "independent play" is just not going to happen...not even long enough for the mama to get dressed. Unfortunately, the mama had also agreed to an upcoming obligation and had to make a phone call.
What's a mama to do?
Put a plastic storage box of warm, soapy water on top of some towels in the middle of the kitchen and let them have at it.
It started with just the Sisters, who put their toy dishes and some real dishes in right away and started washing. Then SuperSam, hearing the splashes and giggles, came running with dinosaurs in hand. Impromptu dinosaur bathtime resulted (and dinosaur washing is almost always a winner around here).
The fun lasted for fifteen minutes, until everyone was totally soaked and getting cold (and ready for snack). The only cleanup involved was wiping up some water from the floor. (That section of the floor looks cleaner now as a result. Bonus!)
Hooray for simple fun.