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Bath Time Fun

Mommy Nature's Preschool Blog

Bath Time's not just for bubbles anymore!

Few children complain about bath time when allowed to splash around.  However, there are times when you'll have to rush Junior through the scrub down, but allow for variety occasionally with these fun ideas.
Never leave a small child unattended near any water.  Use common sense when following any of these suggestions.  Ages recommended are approximate.

Bath Time Fun - Infants, Toddlers, Preschoolers

Bath Buddies (newborn+)

Donít forget that you are your childís best friend for the first few years.  You can have fun playing in the tub with him/her.  This is a great way to ease a toddlerís fear of the water or to wash your infant! 

For babies who startle easily, wrap your undressed infant in a baby towel.  Get in the tub, have someone hand you the baby.  Immerse your baby (leaving his head out, of course!).  As your baby adjusts to the water, slowly unwrap him.  Most babies love this.  Itís thought to remind them of the womb and with you at his side, it must be a very familiar feeling.  You can lay your baby on your chest to wash him, keeping a warm cloth across his body. 

For toddlers who hate getting their hair washed, have your child lean back on your reclined chest.  This way, you can pour a cup of water over her head without water dripping in her face.  This also builds a sense of trust which will build into an even more joyful relationship (and fun in the water!).


Musical Suds (newborn +)

It's never too early to introduce your child to music.  Bath time is a wonderful opportunity to use music to create a calming environment or to sing and bond with your child.  Here are some fun songs to include in your repertoire.
 

Bath Time Fun - Infants, Toddlers, Preschoolers
Homemade Bath Book


Not a book for the bath, but about the bath...Take pictures of your child playing, getting hair, face and body washed in the tub.  Arrange them in a plastic-sleeved scrapbook.  Add captions or turn it into a story.  Read this book throughout the day or week or whenever your child asks for it.  Your child will love seeing him or herself in the book and may become more excited about bath time! A book such as this is great for any activity your child enjoys!  For longevity, laminate it at a copy center.


Bath Time Fun - Infants, Toddlers, Preschoolers
Bath Toys

Aside from the numerous bath toys you can buy, your house, particularly your kitchen, is filled with items baby would love during bath time!  Try plastic cups, bowls, plates, flatware, measuring cups (these double as nesting/stacking cups!), measuring spoons, colanders, cooking utensils such as wooden spoons, whisks and any other safe object you think your child would enjoy!
 

Bath Time Fun - Infants, Toddlers, Preschoolers 
Color my (Bath) World (9 months and up) 

Once your child can sit up in the bath and is becoming more observant of his/her surroundings, he/she will enjoy this activity.  Add a couple drops of food coloring to your child's bath water.  Be sure not to drop it too close to the child if already in the water, so as not to stain the skin.  Unless you go "overboard", the water should be diluted enough not to stain your clothes, the washrag, or any toys.  Remember to cap the food coloring and keep it out of the child's reach, though!
Variations:
>your child may enjoy blending the color into the water once you drop it in, or you can surprise him/her by bringing him/her to the tub of colored water
>question what will happen when you add a drop of a different color, then try it and talk about what you saw
>if out of food coloring, sprinkle in some drink mix powder.  At 10-15 cents a package it makes for cheap entertainment.  Just make sure your child doesn't think he is now swimming in the largest bowl of cherry fruit drink ever and try to
drink it!
 

Bath Time Fun - Infants, Toddlers, Preschoolers
Bubbly, Bubbly Bath (9 months and up)

Children love bubbles so instead of just making bubbles in the tub with bubble bath, offer your child a bubble wand and a small container of bubble solution if he or she is old enough to blow bubbles.  Otherwise, blow bubbles all around him or her for a snowy effect.  You can also purchase "bubble guns" that are battery powered bubble makers.  Do not get these near the tub, however, batteries and water don't mix!


Bath Time Fun - Infants, Toddlers, Preschoolers 
Ice bath (12 months and up)  

No need for expensive bath toys if you have a working freezer. I came up with this when my 10-month-old seemed bored of her toys one night but enthralled with my ice water!  Toss a few ice cubes (or one at a time) into the tub with your little one and watch him/her try to pick them up.  (As with any other small item -- even food -- keep both eyes on your child so he/she doesn't eat/choke on the ice.)  
The variations to this activity abound!
>color the water before freezing into ice cubes
>pour water into various-shaped small containers (you want to keep it small so you don't drastically lower the temperature of the bath water -- use small bowls, candy/soap molds, plastic eggs from Easter, plastic gloves, whatever)
>for Easter, freeze colored water in plastic eggs (Keeping in mind that water expands when frozen, this one takes a little more work, but is worth the fun!)
Drill a small hole in one end of each plastic egg so the expanding water has a place to go.  Put the ends together, fill almost to the top and set in an egg carton to freeze.  To remove, set the eggs out for a minute or dip into hot water to release from the shell.  Have an egg-citing bath time!        
>for Halloween, fill a couple of plastic gloves with water (don't overfill!), tie off with rubber bands and freeze.  To remove from gloves, set out for a few minutes or dip in warm water.
>in the summertime wading pool, toss in some larger frozen water shapes to cool the water and add to the fun
>
no matter your child's age
, talk to him/her about how the ice feels, looks, melts, etc.

Bath Time Fun - Infants, Toddlers, Preschoolers
Emmalisse and Jenna Belle enjoying their
shaving cream finger paint in the tub.

Foam Bath (18 months +)

Use unscented shaving cream as a great finger paint for the tub.  It's super easy to clean up afterwards!  You can even color it with a drop of food coloring or washable paint.  Provide popsicle sticks as razors so your child can pretend to shave.  For less than a dollar for a full-size can (compared to several dollars for a tube of finger paint), you have many finger paint baths in your future!

   

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