Five little ducks went out one day...  over the hills and far away...

Five little ducks went out one day... over the hills and far away...

Bath toys make bath time fun for babies by providing an opportunity for kids to play and learn at the same time, and distracting them from the cleaning process during which they can squirm, especially when washing hair.

For younger children simple toys such as rubber ducks or plastic tugboats in bright hues are ideal for teaching colours. There are now even rubber ducks that change colour depending on what the temperature of the water is.

Squeaky toys that make noise when squeezed are enjoyed by younger children who are learning about how their actions have a cause and effect

Mini watering cans or jugs can provide a shower to be tipped over the baby which can double as a way to rinse shampoo out of your baby’s hair.

Bath crayons enable children to scribble on bathroom tiles in the bath and any residue can be washed away with water. This can help kids learn how to hold writing utensils and when they are older with learning shapes, letters and numbers. Stick-on letters and numbers that stick to bathroom tiles with suction caps are also great for this reason.

All children also delight in toys with small holes can be filled with water and squirted out but these will need to be cleaned most regularly. Wind-up or pull-string toys that float and move such as a shark or fish that circle or zoom around in the water are old favourites and usually quite affordable.

Baby soaps in the shapes of animals or characters are also fun. Toddlers will enjoy blowing bubbles with a bubble wand. Bath books that are made of plastic are a great way to initiate reading skills.

Above all choose toys that:
- Have no small parts
- Are easy to clean and/or dishwasher safe
- Made of rubber, cloth, foam or another soft material
- Age-appropriate (younger children may choke on toys with small parts meant for older children)
- Free of BPA and any other toxic materials

Plastic cups, spoons and bowls from the kitchen will work just as well, and are a good substitute when bathing babies while on holidays or at a friend or relative’s house where the usual toys are not on hand. Plastic blocks, dolls and balls are suitable for kids of all ages, as are beach toys such as buckets and spades. But try to keep bath toys for the bath, rather than everyday play.

Rotate bath toys so that your child always has something different to play with and the novelty of toys doesn’t wear off quickly and you can keep a schedule of what can be thrown out as new toys are introduced.

By storing toys in a mesh bag, they are able to dry out properly, and are less likely to gather mould and mildew. Babies are naturally inclined to put bath toys in their months, as they do with many things, especially between six and twelve months of age. Mesh bags can go into the washing machine to be cleaned and hung out to dry.

Try these baby stores for fun baby bath toys:
www.bambinipronto.com.au
www.babiesgalore.com.au
www.kidscentral.com.au