Bathtime can be the perfect opportunity for a lot of good clean fun, for both you and your kids. Mixing up your routine with a few next-level bathtime activities can inspire even the most tub-resistant kids to look forward to their next bath. Try these ideas for what to do with your kids in the bath, and get ready to turn tub time into an exciting part of the day.
Play With Colors
Combine water with food coloring or chemical-free food dye, then freeze the various mixtures in an ice cube tray. When it’s bathtime, put the ice cubes in the tub and let your child play with them as they melt (and don’t worry, food coloring agents won’t stain your tub). It’s fun to watch kids discover what happens when colors meld together. Red and blue makes…purple?!
Create Cool Bath Art
Make your own tile-safe bathtub paints, and let your kids get their art on without making a mess. Use no-tears baby shampoo or body wash as the paint base—because you know this stuff is going to get everywhere! To make paint, stir together 1/3 cup of baby shampoo with 1 1/2 tablespoons of cornstarch, mixing thoroughly to get rid of any clumps or lumps. Split the base into different compartments of an ice cube tray, and add a few drops of food coloring or chemical-free food dye to each one until you achieve the color you like. Break out a paint brush or use your fingers to create art right on the tub surface—or even on your kid! (FYI, our Silicone Pastry Brush can double as a stellar, dishwasher-safe paint brush.)
Make Your Own Bath Bombs
What’s more fun than dropping something fizzy, colorful and beautifully scented into a bath? Some of the commercial bath bombs can contain ingredients that are a little too harsh for a toddler’s skin, but you can easily make your own at home:
Mix together 1/2 cup of baking soda, 1/4 cup of cornstarch and 1/4 cup of citric acid. Then add 1 teaspoon of olive oil or melted coconut oil, and 25 drops of kid-safe essential oil (like calming lavender). Feel free to stir in kid-friendly add-ons like sprinkles, environmentally friendly glitter or food coloring. (If you’d like, you can opt for chemical-free, baby-friendly food dye, available at specialty shops or online.) You may need to spritz a tiny bit of water from a spray bottle to help you form the bombs—but do this sparingly, as adding too much water quickly will cause your bomb to start reacting. Pack the bombs into an ice cube tray or silicone baking cups, depending on how big you want to make them. Let them dry overnight, then store them for up to six months in a cool, dry spot in a sealed airtight container. When you’re ready, break out the bombs—one per bath is the perfect amount—and make bath time a blast.
Turn the Bath Into a Toy Wash
If your kid is really resistant to bathing, bill bathtime as an opportunity to give her favorite toys a scrub. Keep your baby bathtub handy, and fill it up with sudsy water. After she has a great time splashing around and giving her toys a wash (cross “cleaning toys” off your checklist!), your tot might be more amenable to taking her own bath. But at the very least, all that toy washing should have washed away some of her own grime too. Stash the freshly cleaned toys in a Bath Toy Bin, where they can air-dry and stay within easy reach for the next time your baby is ready to play.
Repurpose Kitchen Items as Bath Toys
Give the same old bath toys a break, and introduce something a little different than what’s in your bath toy bin. For another fun bath time activity, introduce plastic measuring cups, silicone baking cups and strainers, or even a whisk, and let your kid try his hand at “cooking” with soap and water in the tub. (When bathtime is done, just load those items into the dishwasher, and you’ll be ready for your next real-life cooking adventure with your kids.)