I had some containers on hand and shoved some smaller plates and kitchen utensils and accessories into it for Ethan to wash. I also set up a "sink" in a large tub I had laying around in our tot school classroom, filling it up with some water and a couple squirts of our My True Nature bath bubbles for suds. I cut a sponge into a smaller piece to better fit Ethan's hand and included one of his favorite little scrubbers leftover from our color bins back in the day and set up everything on our front doorstep stoop. Our house is weird in that our front door is around the side of the house, which has come to be really awesome in that we can sit out there in a little private space on the side of our house, covered by the roof over the little doorstep stoop. That way, even if it's drizzling, we can still manage to breathe in some fresh air, stay dry and do something outdoors, which is nice because our backyard doesn't have any coverage. (Also, yes, that was an unnecessarily long description of why we like our front doorstep area and how our house is constructed, brought to you by the fact it's been ages since it hasn't hurt to talk and since I've had any adult interaction. Sorry. Carry on.)
Ethan was immediately really excited about washing the dishes in the soapy water. He had also hid a couple of matchbox cars in his pocket which he deemed perfect for this activity, so our dish washing station turned into a car wash, too.
He had a blast washing the dishes but not so much drying them. I had given him a small hand towel to dry the dishes and a clean tray to lay the dry dishes on. He had no interest in either of them and if I tried to dry a dish and lay it to dry, he'd get all cranky and put it back into the water. Eventually, he tossed the hand towel out into the rainstorm to make sure I fully got the picture. Toddlers.
I'll have to try this again with the adequate tools to make it as cute and fun as Jen's, but it was still a perfect rainy day activity to fit in before dinnertime! Thanks, Jen and Henry!