Bath time has been a part of our bedtime routine for both my daughters since 4 weeks old. Not only is it a great way to wash away the day’s dirt, sticky fingers, and dried applesauce, it’s also an excellent opportunity for play. But like everything done daily, it can start to get pretty boring. So every so often I try to introduce something simple to make bath time new, exciting, and educational. Here are my go to bath activities for kids ages 18 months to 4 years, and maybe even beyond!
Under the sea
Blue food colouring and plastic ocean animals. It’s as easy as that. Don’t go crazy trying to make the water a deep blue, or you’ll end up using the entire bottle of food colouring. We often use these Bath Dropz from Crayola. They gave a really great intense colour without staining the tub.
Depending on the age of your child, they may engage in pretend play with the animals, or you can direct the play by asking “Can you find ___ ?”. I also like including books during bathtime. My daughter loves Waves in the Bathtub by Eugenie Fernandes. We sing the song together and find the matching animals in the water.
Another simple idea with a big impact! Turn off the lights and have a dance party bath with mini glowsticks.
I buy chunky mini glowsticks from Dollarama. They come in a pack of 10 for $2.50 and I use 5 at a time in the bath. I like the chunky ones because I know they can’t be broken or bitten into. You can add some bubble bath too and spend time searching for the glowsticks floating underneath.
I typically get 4 uses out of the single package. After bath time if you store the glowsticks in the freezer, they will continue to glow for a second bath. They won’t be as bright as the first use, but my daughter doesn’t seem to notice the difference.
Super easy recipe to make your own bath paint. My daughter goes to town painting the tub and tiles, and it all rinses off with water.
In a large measuring cup, mix together 1 cup cornstarch, 1/4 cup liquid baby soap, and enough water until it has the consistency of paint. You can play around with the ratios. More cornstarch will make the paint more opaque. Pour paint into the cups of a muffin tin or ice cube tray (I use a 6 cup muffin tin). Stir drops of food colouring into each cup to create different colours of paint.
My girl goes nuts for this “slime”. All you need is cornstarch, water, and food colouring.
In a shallow container, mix 2 cups of cornstarch with water. I don’t really measure, I just add water and stir until it turns into a liquid when stirred slowly. If you want all the nerdy details, Oobleck is a non-newtonian fluid, which means it’s a liquid that acts like a solid when force is applied to it. It’s super fun for everyone to play with, and it’s baby/toddler safe if they decide to eat it or dump it on their head.
I let my daughter go nuts with this stuff in the bath, then rinse it all away and carry on with our usual bath time washing.
I’ve also expanded this activity by including toys, like this wash the farm animals activity.
What activities make bath time fun at your house? Follow me on Instagram and tell me all about them.