Bath time doesn’t have to be a battle. There are so many ways to add fun to the bath time repertoire. Here’s an assortment of ways to shake up the bath routine so children love to get in the tub.
- Make a water wall for the tub. Use some colorful duct tape and an assortment of altered pop bottles, funnels and other contraptions to make a temporary site for fabulous water fun. Your child can pour bath water into the various containers and watch them run though the funnels and tubes. Here’s how one family did it.
- Add some colored ice. Fill some muffin tins with water and add a few drops of different colors of food coloring. Freeze solid and then let your child play with a few at a time in the bath. It’s fun to watch them melt and to see the colors they change the water when different colors are added at once. Children can even learn their colors and how to mix primary colors this way.
- Take it outside. When the weather is nice, kids wear bathing suits and take a bath in the kiddie pool.
- Make up some bath paints. There’s no need to buy expensive bath paints when they’re so simple to make yourself. Simply mix a bit of baby shampoo in a small cup with a teaspoon of corn starch and a few drops of food coloring. Mix up one or two colors, grab a couple of paintbrushes and let your Picasso go to work. (Note: this recipe is generally non-staining but you may want to color test it if your tub wall or grout is particularly porous or easily stained.)
- Blow bubbles. You may not want to run bubble baths for kids since they can often lead to problems like yeast infections (especially in little girls), but blowing bubbles is a whole other matter. Try making fun shaped wands with pipe cleaners to experiment with other types of bubbles, too.
- Play mermaid. One creative mother reports that her children loved it when they tinted the water blue and pretended they were mermaids. They’d even happily lie in the water to wash their hair.
- Suit them up. Let the kids sometimes wear bathing suits or other fun outfits in the bath.
- Play with shaving cream. You can pipe shaving cream in a muffin tin and tint each one with a couple of drops of food coloring, then let kids fingerpaint on the walls with it. You can also just leave it plain for plenty of messy fun. Just be sure children are past the point of putting it in their mouths and know to avoid eyes.
- Bring in balloons. This playful mom filled balloons with colored water and then let her daughter cut them open in the bath to spill the various colors into the bathwater. You can also fill them with plain water and air.
- Bring in the outside world. There’s no rule that says that all bath toys have to be neon plastic. Lots of natural materials can be fun bath toys. Shells can be used for soap dishes and bath salt scoops. Rose petals can make little ones feel like princesses (be sure to scoop them out before pulling the plug!). Acorn caps make fun little floating toys and you can even try your hands at making tiny birch bark canoes. In the winter time, bring in a container of snow and various implements to poke and shape it with before melting it all with the bath water. Other natural materials that are fun for baths include milkweed pods for boats and driftwood ducks and other creatures (let kids use permanent markers or paints to decorate their own!).
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