DRYING RACK HACK
SENSORY PLAY CLEANUP DRYING RACK HACK
Sensory play cleanup might not be as fun as the activity was – but this sensory play cleanup using a clothes drying rack hack is a great way to keep it all contained in one spot!
We do a lot of different sensory activities throughout the week but there’s one constant theme between them: I hate having supplies sitting all around my kitchen drying and struggle to find a convenient place to let the table try! Our kitchen is on the small side with minimal counter space so adding extra dish drying racks leaves little room for food prep and etc the rest of the day. Until one day when I had the drying rack out and realized: I could be drying all the sensory play materials on the clothes drying rack!
I bought us an Ikea FROST Drying Rack a few months ago when winter started to tackle five kids worth of wet winter gear everyday. (Which has been great and you can read about it h e r e !) It’s a great drying rack – it folds right up flat for easy storage, its side ‘wings’ are adjustable and the middle section has hanging space too.
As I was hanging the wet clothes and towels from our sensory activity I stopped and thought, what about everything else? So I grabbed the strainers I use to dry the toys to see if they were long enough for the bottom and they totally were. It was only upwards from there!
The strainers I usually use are expandable ones from Dollarama. They’re great for leaving toys to dry because they have a good amount of space, you can condense them for storage and they’re easy to move around the kitchen. Now they’re even better for me because they sit on the drying rack level just under the centre!
This leaves the centre rack available for a bin or two from the Ikea Flisat Table we use for our activities, depending on which bin size. But you could fit many different bins down there!
Ultimately for me, it’s a mixture of space maximization and versatility. While we live in a decently sized townhouse each room is still on the smaller size so it’s been important to find ways to be smart about how we organize.
Up until this point, the sensory activities would come into the kitchen when we were finished and needed to stay in the crowded space for cleanup and for drying.
If I use a drying rack, I can take everything right to the basement, wash it in the laundry room sink, dry in on the drying rack in the basement (aka very much out of the way) and then when its dry it’s right where it’s need to be to be put away! I also believe having the pieces dry in the basement will convince me to put them away properly, instead of leaving bins of accessories and utensils in piles waiting for me.
This could also be a great way to leave the bins and accessories outside to dry during the warm months. The rack is made for both indoors and outdoors, so you could store the rack outside as well!
Oh, and that Ikea Flisat table? Well, it fits right up on top.
Now I do need to add a warning that the weight of the table does make the drying rack a tad wobbly. So I would avoid doing this in a high traffic area or an area where kids have regular unsupervised play time – that table falling or the whole rack falling won’t be a good time.
There you have it! The sensory play cleanup hack you didn’t know you needed but now need to try. Be sure to check out some of the fun sensory play we’ve been up to for some inspiration!