Do you have a kiddo that hates bathtime? Are you dreading this evening ritual because you know it will end in frustration for both of you? Do you want to make bathtime fun? I can relate.
My own kids have gone through phases where they absolutely loved bathtime and other times when it was like pulling teeth even to get them to set foot in the tub. Having a power struggle over bathtime is not fun for anyone. One thing that always helped make those phases a little easier is to introduce a new bath toy or activity.
Here are some ideas to help make bathtime more fun.
I know this technically isn’t a toy but having a bath full of bubbles is certainly fun to play in! You can buy liquid or powder bubble baths or even find a combo where body wash is combined with the bubble bath. The key to creating the most bubbles is mixing them in while the water is still running.
You can find all kinds of bath bombs these days. Some are made to color the water, some have toys inside, some have essential oils with certain scents to help with relaxation. You can usually find bath bombs near the soap/shampoo aisle of most box stores (along with some other fun bath toys).
The bath bombs that turn the water a different color were always a big hit in my house. You can stick with just one, or dissolve a few at a time to see what color the water turns. (Easy art lesson!) You can also try your hand at making your own. Click here for a DIY bath bomb recipe for kids.
You probably don’t want to let your child loose with a super soaker in the bathroom, unless you don’t mind a huge water mess to clean up. But smaller squirt guns can be a fun, cheap bathtime toy. You can usually find these at the dollar store.
One tip is to buy clear shower liners. That way, you can still easily supervise bathtime but you don’t have to worry about water splashing or getting squirted outside of the tub.
Foam alphabet letters
Even if your kids don’t know their letters yet, these are just fun to stick on the side of the tub. You can have them group them into colors, or if your kids are older, they can spell out a message for you, or you can spell out a word and have them read it back to you. The other nice thing about these is that they dry pretty quickly.
Do you have a kiddo that likes to draw or paint? Why not take that fun into the bathtub? You can buy special bathtub art supplies that won’t stain your tub and are easy to wash off. Your kids will love finally being able to draw on the walls without getting into trouble. 🙂
This is a fun activity when it’s too cold outside to blow bubbles outdoors. Let your kids blow bubbles in the tub, or even set up a small bubble machine on one corner of your tub. Just be sure to rinse kiddos off after so you can remove any bubble residue from their skin.
This is a fun one for older kiddos. In a mostly dark bathroom, let your kiddo light up their bath with different colored glowsticks. Bring a flashlight in for a little extra light if needed.
If you don’t want to spend money on bath toys, there are plenty of things around the house that can be fun in the tub. Here are some ideas:
- Frozen toys – Gather up some plastic toys and freeze them inside small cups. I’m not sure why it’s so fun to watch ice melt and see a toy emerge, but this has always been a hit in my house!
- Plastic strainer – Grab some of your plastic containers out of the recycling bin and wash them out really well. Using a scissors, poke small holes in the bottom.
- Measuring cups/pitchers – Kids love pouring water in and out of things. Give them different size measuring cups or plastic cups and a pitcher and you have an instant set of bath toys.
- Kitchen utensils – Grab the turkey baster, some soup ladles, slotted spoons…your kitchen is full of interesting insta-toys. Grab some plastic straws and let your kids blow bubbles in the tub.
- Play the “will it sink or will it float” game with waterproof items you gather from around the house.
Let’s talk storage.
If your kids don’t share their bathroom with any other members of the family, this isn’t as big of deal. But if you need to remove the toys from the bath each time, then you are going to want a convenient place to put them.
One option is to buy a mesh net that has built in suction cups that you can stick right on the side of the tub. I like these because it allows the toys to dry while still being out of the way. The only problem is that these nets are generally pretty small and they don’t hold heavier toys very well.
A second option is to use a small plastic tub (I use a small dishpan and it works great.) You can place a small towel on the bottom that will absorb water as the toys dry out and store this tub under your sink between bath times.
Keeping bath toys clean.
Remember, it is always a good idea to routinely wash your kiddos’ bath toys in hot, soapy water. I know it seems strange to have to wash bath toys when they are in water regularly, but they can develop a slimy coating after a while.
Having toys where water can’t be trapped inside for a long period of a time is also recommended because that is an easy place for bacteria to grow.
I hope these ideas help make bathtime more fun for everyone!