Bath time can be a good opportunity for you to bond with your toddler. What if your toddler hates baths? What do you do then?
Creating fun things to do in the bathtub is an excellent way to encourage toddlers who hate baths to love them again.
Some activities can be both fun and educational for kids. In this post, I’ll describe 18 simple and fun activities you can do with your toddler in the bath.
Most of the activities I list below are educational, so you know your child will learn something every time they take a bath.
Let’s dive in and explore each activity in detail
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Bathtime Activities For Toddlers
1. Have a conversation with your toddler
In our busy daily routines, it is easy to forget to talk to our children. Having a conversation with your toddler is one of the best ways to develop their brains, improve their speech, and bond with them.
According to Rasing Children Australia, parents who communicate often with their infants and toddlers tend to use many different words, tones, and sounds. This exposes the child to the primary language faster. It also helps them speak a lot faster as well.
Talking to your toddler doesn’t have to be a complicated thing. Simply narrate everything you’re doing with them. Click here to see how I talk to my child during the day, as well as 9 things you should be teaching your toddler
2. Floating & Sinking
This is one of our favorite bathtime activities. Children learn the scientific concept of buoyancy which is defined as the ability of an object to float in water.
They also learn about the density of objects, and how much the mass of the objects affects their ability to float.
You can use things you already have in your home to perform this activity. Take out a cup and a metal spoon. Have your kids make predictions between the two objects.
- Ask them questions like which one do you think will sink when placed in water?
- Which one will float? Why do you think that?
- Do you think their shapes made them float better? Why do you say that?
Encourage your toddler to explain their thought processes. Explaining their thinking helps their brain to make connections between events. It also builds their vocabulary.
Note that the type of questions you ask depends on the age of your toddler. 1-year-olds may not understand the concept behind the activity.
For younger toddlers, you can explain the concept and answer the questions you ask them. Give older toddlers the chance to answer the questions themselves.
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3. Bubble bath fun
What’s more fun than playing with bubbles in the bath? Bubble baths are a great way to entertain your kids in the tub.
We use the bubble bath soap from Dabble & Dollop. Their products are vegan, sustainably sourced, and made in the USA.
If you have the patience for it, try adding drops of food coloring to the bath to create swirls of rainbow fun. Your tub will be stained with colors, but your kids will have fun.
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4. Go Fishing in the Bath
This fishing game toddler toy from Etsy is by far the best toys my kids own. You place the fishes on the ground outside the tub and let your toddler work to catch them all. They will have hours of fun in and out of the bath.
Because this toy is magnetic and made of wood, it’s better to use it outside the tub to make it work effectively. This won’t away take from the amount of fun your kid will have using it.
This activity helps your child work on their fine motor skill, as well as their hand-eye coordination.
5. Make rain in the bathtub
How fun would it be if your kids could create rain? The next time you bathe your toddler, bring a colander with you. Kids can scoop up water and watch them escape the holes as “rain”.
6. Get a bathtime doll
A bathtime doll like this one from Amazon is a great toy to teach kids how to wash themselves. It is also a great companion in the bathtub. What I like to do is dirty up the doll using washable markers.
Then have the kids clean every part of it using a washcloth and soap. This way, they learn the importance of taking a bath.
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7. Rubber duckie straw race
This is a cool bathtime activity to do with your kids. It involves a pair of rubber duckies and two straws. Challenge your kids to a race, to see who will be able to get their rubber duckie from one end of the tub to the other. Use the straw to blow the air needed to push the duckie to the other side.
8. Name that alphabet
For this activity, you will need A-Z foam alphabets that stick to the side of the tub. I like using this foam alphabet from amazon.
Stick the letters on the tub and have your young toddler practice naming each one. I did this with my kids when they were 1, and it was fun watching them learn to name each one.
For a twist, you can use alphabets of different colors and have them practice naming the letters and colors as well.
9. Name that number
This game works the same as the alphabet one above. Just get foam numbers instead.
10. Get a cool bath toy
If your kids tire of playing different games every night at bathtime, you can take a break and have them just play with a bath toy.
There are so many brands of bath toys out there. Try to find one that’s a little educational.
We like this bathtub ball tracker from Etsy. It also sticks to any glass surface so can use it outside the bath or shower.
It helps improve kids’ concentration skills when they track the ball’s movement.
11. Learn to Measure
If you have older toddlers who have learned some of their numbers, you will like this game. Get a measuring cup for kids from Amazon, and have your toddler scoop water with the cups.
Have them tell you how much water is in the measuring cup by reading the measurement on the side.
This activity introduces kids to the scientific concept of volume without using technical terms. They will be very proud of their ability to correctly name the volume of the water in the cup.
12. Lego bath fun
Dump a bunch of lego bricks like this one on Amazon in the tub and have your child build different structures with them. You can make it interesting by challenging them to build different structures like a house, car, etc.
13. Playing with sponges
Kids love to play with sponges. Put one or two sponges in the tub and let your kids soak up the water with them. If you buy the bath doll I mentioned earlier, your kids can even use the sponge to wash the doll clean of any “dirt” on its skin.
14. Playing with balls
Not every bathtime activity needs to be elaborate. Keep it simple by throwing some balls into the tub for your kid to play with.
If you want to take it to the next level, get a bathtub basketball hoop. Your child toddler can practice their throwing skills with it. This activity will help improve hand-eye coordination, concentration, and gross motor skills.
15. Play games
Invent some games to play with your child in the tub. When my kids were young, I played “I spy with my little eyes”, and “riddles” with them a lot.
For the riddles game, I gave them something simple like “what starts with A that you can eat?”. There are multiple correct answers to the questions, so kids won’t feel bad if they don’t get it right.
16. Sing songs
If you can’t think of any other games to play, just sing songs. Look up 3 to 4 nursery rhymes that you and your kid can sing together.
17. Bath books
Reading in the bath can be a good bonding activity for you and your child. Bath books are awesome because they are made to get wet. Why not search Amazon for some good bath books and read them with your child the next time you give them a bath?
18. Bath crayons
Do you have a little artist on your hands? If so, get them some bath crayons. They are designed to be easily washable, so you don’t have to worry about them making a mess. Kids will love drawing on the side of the tub with these cool bath crayons from Amazon.
I hope you find some inspiration from the list I put together. Remember that kids hating bath time are a phase that will pass. Just keep looking for fun ways to make bath time more enjoyable.
Did I skip any fun bathtime activities on the list? If you have suggestions for more things to add, please leave a comment and let me know.
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These are great suggestions.
Great ideas. I will definitely try them with my daughter, who hates baths.
I love the idea of incorporating educational concepts during your nightly bath routine! Really great suggestions!