More fun than a rubber ducky!
Bath time doesn’t have to be structured play – as long as it’s safe, you should encourage any bath activities that make bath time a fun experience for your child. Just be prepared to get splashed!
Here are some bath games and activities for kids of all ages that are fun, creative and educational:
- Give babies a small net to “fish” out toys, such as fish, starfish, sharks and whales, whereas toddlers will enjoy using a magnetic fishing rod set to try and “catch” them.
- Bubbles never fail to delight children of all ages and games can be created out of blowing them, bursting them and making beards and funny shapes.
- Games with mirrors can be incorporated with making funny hairstyles with water and shampoo and even shaving gel.
- You can teach your little one about body parts and sing “Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes” while washing her and getting her to point out each body part as you sing.
- Puppet shows can entertain your child. Putting a washcloth or towel over your hand and talking in a funny voice can keep both toddlers and babies amused.
- Dropping ice cubes with food colouring in the bath is a great way to teach about colour.
- You can also use toys to teach your child about sinking and floating. Or line up all the wind-up toys and race them down the bath.
- Get your child to draw a picture of what she did that day with bath crayons or if she’s a little older, get her to practice writing her name.
- Eating food such as ice cream, yoghurt or fruit in the bath can save parents time on busy days when running behind on schedule, by combing bath time and feeding time. Best of all kids can get as messy as they like, which may mean they actually eat more than they would sitting in a highchair.
- Imaginary games that revolve around water such as being in a pool, being on a boat, or in a flood are perfect for older kids.
- Ball games that involve basic throwing and catching skills are good for bath time too. Sticking a mini basketball ring against the bathroom tiles or a small volleyball net across the bath tub and playing with your kids to try and score points is an opportunity to improve their hand-eye coordination.
- Listening to music or books on tape is another way for kids to enjoy bath time without getting too overexcited.
If your baby likes bath time you can use bathing as a strategy to help settle baby in the evening and maintain an evening routine. Using essential oils that are safe for babies and other organic baby bath products can induce sleep.
If your baby does not like baths try talking to them and singing to help them become relaxed or if they cry no matter what, try taking them into the bath with you and even breastfeeding to help them relax (although be aware that for many babies elimination may follow soon after).The more fun they have each time, the easier it will be to get them in the tub every day.