Bath time at our house is a major undertaking, as I'm sure it is for many families with toddlers. On some nights it is quiet affair in which our daughter happily disrobes, jogs to our tub, and practically dives into bath bubbles as she sports smiles and giggles. On other nights, rebellion lurks around every corner—we struggle to shed clothes, wrangle our naked tot, and try our best to keep her occupied in the bath long enough to wash her face and hair. And then there are the evenings when she just doesn't want to take a bath ... at all.
If your toddler also shares a love-hate relationship with the tub, be sure to try some of the following fun, easy, and economical ideas to perk up your bath and make tubby time much more enjoyable for both you and your child.
There are a wealth of toys and games that you can purchase to enhance your child's bath time, from bath crayons, body paint, and tub tints to stick-up mirrors and foam or sponge animals, letters, and numbers. Here's a list of items that you can collect for your child's bath; and most of them you can either make for very little cost or purchase at a reasonable price.
- Foam or Sponge Letters and Numbers: Sold at many toy stores, these versatile, waterproof, floating numbers and letters are not just fun but educational for your toddler. You can also make your own by cutting out shapes and letters from new kitchen sponges or from craft foam.
- Bath Books: Many children's publishing companies offer books you can take into the bath. These plastic, waterproof titles are available from Dorling Kindersley and The Baby Einstein Company, to name just a few publishers.
- Bath Art Supplies: From Crayola bath crayons to body paint to floating art activity centers, there are a plethora of creative bath art supplies on the market today.
- Washcloth Puppets: Available at children's stores, these fun hand puppets double as washcloths. You can even make your own from one of the many patterns available online, such as the one found at www.sewing.org.
- Bath Mirror: These plastic mirrors are readily available at toy stores and offer your tot an opportunity to see all those silly hairstyles you make when shampooing her locks.
- Wind-up Bath Toys: Fish, sharks, whales, and little swimmers—these classic toys wind up and swim in your child's tub.
- Boats: Collect plastic boats from your local discount store, or make your own with a Tupperware container or plastic cup and a little imagination.
- Swim Goggles: Bring those swim goggles from the beach or pool into the tub for some added bathtub fun.
- Rubber Bath Toys: What child's bath would be complete without the quintessential rubber ducky? You can also find rubber or plastic fish, frogs, and turtles; some even squirt water.
- Bubbles and Bubble Bath: Don't forget the bubble bath! In addition to traditional bubble bath, keep a bottle of soap bubbles in the bathroom just for bath time blowing. You can mix a couple drops of tub tint in the bubbles for added color. (Parents of children that suffer with urinary tract infections, yeast infections, or eczema may want to skip the bubbles since they could cause further irritation.)
You may already have many bath toys on hand and just don't realize it. Let your child hunt through his or her toy chest and bring favorite plastic farm animals or dinosaurs, cars and trucks, tea sets, or beach pails and watering cans into the tub.