Problem: My 2-year-old isn't washing his hands nearly often enough.
Secondary problem: He's way too short to reach the sink! A step-stool from Ikea only got us Most of the way: his fingertips could just barely reach the water stream.
One solution: Buy an "aqueduck" for about $13 plus shipping. This shnazzy little device consists of a duckbill-shaped plastic channel and a silicone or rubber sleeve for attaching it to the faucet. The effect is to extend the faucet by about 6 inches, which is plenty in most cases.
My solution: Use a broken toy from the Dollar Tree and a piece of electrical tape!
Step 1: Materials and Procedure
* 1 "Glow Sword" - Find this at your local dollar store. (We had one on hand from trick-or-treating.) It's just a dagger-shaped handle for a glow stick. (You can also buy one here, although it's going to cost you more than $1!)
* 6 or 8 inches of electrical tape
* scissors to cut the tape.
1. Give toddler the glow sword. If you're lucky, he'll throw it on the floor like mine did and break the handle in half. If not, wait 'til he falls asleep and steal it. Discard the spent glow stick and snap the handle in half laterally, breaking off the pegs if necessary so there are no pointy bits.
2. Cut about 6 to 8 inches of electrical tape
3. Place narrow end of handle just beneath the faucet and about 1 inch back from the spout. Tape it on reasonably tight, but leaving enough room for the water to come out without creating much pressure.
4. Place toddler in front of sink and tell him to wash his hands
5. 10 minutes later, pull him away from the fantastic fun of playing in the water, secure in the knowledge that his hands are at least marginally cleaner than when he started, even if his sleeves are now sopping wet.
6. Be prepared to replace the tape every few days. Annoying? Probably. Better than spending $13 for a commercial solution? Sure is in my book!
I expect there are dozens of items in your house that could do this same job - probably located in your recycle bin, in fact. I considered a yogurt container or plastic water bottle cut in half. But you'd have to use some fancy scissor work, and there could easily be sharp edges. More importantly, it'll take more than 5 minutes! Use your creativity, or rush up to the Dollar Tree before they stop carrying the silly thing!