Discovery Point Blog
6 Ideas for Bathtime Fun!
When it comes to taking baths, children tend to fall on one side of the fence or the other – love them or hate them. The good news is we have some fun ideas that will make bathtime a joy for both camps. With these activities, giving your toddler a bath can be something to look forward to, rather than a chore you have to get through.
After all, baths offer the potential for real fun. There’s water, bubbles, and children are contained in a washable zone, so the mess factor is minimal. The key is ensuring you have a few tricks up your sleeve to shift the focus from hair washing to toys, playing pretend, and having fun with colors and textures.
Baths are also a great way to “reset” a bad day. When you have a cranky toddler on your hands, immersing them in a new sensory world can help wash away the grumpies and distract them from whatever caused the bad mood in the first place.
Here are some of the best ideas for bathtime fun we’ve come across.
1. Play Dough Soap
Bring some sensory fun to the bathtime experience by making this DIY, water-friendly play dough that doubles as real soap. If you’ve ever wondered how in the world you’re going to manage to clean under your child’s fingernails, this is an easy answer!
There are 7 basic ingredients required for the soap, and most of them you’re likely to already have on hand. You can find a tried-and-true recipe here.
What’s great about this squishy, pliable DIY dough is that it’s not messy. It suds up slightly when wet and actually cleans the skin in a gentle manner. Most importantly, it doesn’t leave any residue behind.
2. Bath Target Practice
Children love squirt bottles and water guns, but in the wrong context they can really make a mess. However, when they’re just used in the bathtub, you can let your children play with water guns to their heart’s content.
Bath targets are a great spray bottle or water gun activity for the bath. They can be made with moistened bath letters stuck to a tile wall and then taped over with a coffee filter. Your child won’t be able to see which letter is underneath until they take aim!
3 Popsicle Bath
You may not consider this as an “activity” per se, but trust us, your child will. It involves…letting your child enjoy a popsicle in the bath. As simple as it sounds, it will greatly extend the duration of bathtime and derail any excuses your child may usually make about taking a bath.
There’s something about the contrast between warm water and cold popsicle that is appealing – and, let’s be honest, eating in the bathtub is just plain fun. Best of all, the normal mess that comes with a popsicle – the sticky fingers and stained mouths – will be contained and cleaned up with no effort at all.
4. Lego Bath
Sometimes something as simple as allowing your child to bring their favorite waterproof toy into the bath can completely change their experience. Large Lego or Lego Duplos are ideal for this scenario. Your child will be totally enthralled by how the Legos float in the water and will take to building boats and buildings right away.
When bathtime is over, the Legos can be easily removed with a colander. Just be sure to dump them out onto a towel so the water can drain from the holes before taking them back to their usual home in the toybox.
5. Pool Party Bath
What’s the difference between a bath and a pool? Well, not much except for size. That’s why making a pool party-themed bath is such an easy but fun idea. Bring in pool noodles, diving rings, goggles, floaties, and let your child wear their favorite bathing suit for a completely different take on bathtime!
6. Ice Block Bath
With this activity you have to do a little advanced, but really easy, planning! Gather some of your child’s smaller toys, foam letters, or any other item your child loves (and that is waterproof). Place the items in some plastic containers and fill with water. Then drop them in the freezer until bath time.
When it’s time for your child’s bath, tell them you have a big surprise to get them excited to get in the tub. Bring out the now frozen items. Your little one won’t be able to contain their excitement as they try to free the items from the ice jail. You can also take the opportunity to give them a bit of a science lesson about water freezing and defrosting.
We hope these six ideas spark your imagination for all the fun a bath can entail. Of course, there are many more out there to discover, from watercolor painting in the tub to an ocean-themed bath time! With just a bit of creativity and an open mind, you can make the bath your child’s new favorite space.