Bathtime should be a pleasant part of your toddler’s bedtime routine: it’s a great opportunity for some relaxed, splashy fun. It’s also the perfect time for parents to reconnect with their little one, and signal the day is nearly done. But for some toddlers, bathtime can become a bit of a battleground. To help you make the most of bathtime – and overcome any issues – try these fun ideas to get things splash happy again.
Be a pirate
Fill the bath with lots of bubbles, and hide ‘treasure’ under the water… waterproof toys, cars and dollies are perfect. Let your toddler explore with her hands and dig out the gold!
Find waterproof items from around the house that make a noise, such as wooden spoons, saucepans and bowls. Show your little one how each ‘instrument’ can make a different noise, then encourage her to make the same ‘splish splash’ or ‘boom boom’ sound while bathing.
Put a selection of plastic toys in the water, then give your child a plastic sieve and challenge her to fish out the toys and drop them into a plastic bowl, which you can place beside her in the bath.
Sink or float?
Have lots of bath toys, plastic kitchen utensils, containers, sponges and balls ready by the bath, then hand your toddler one at a time and ask, “Do you think this will sink or float?” Then she can test it and see! This is a fun way to teach your tot about the difference between heavy and light objects – without her even realising it!
Ice cube surprises
Take some small plastic animals and put one in each section of an ice cube tray, or small freezer-safe cups, add some water and freeze overnight. Drop the ice cubes into a warm bath and let your toddler watch as the animals emerge!
It’s common for toddlers to dislike having their hair washed. Turn the ritual into a fun game by sculpting your tot’s hair into antlers, a unicorn horn or a Mohican using shampoo, then let her admire the results in a plastic mirror!
Making bathtime safe
- Check that the water temperature is warm, never hot, and always mix bath water thoroughly. The ideal temperature is between 35-37°C.
- Never put your child in the bath while the water is still running.
Never leave a toddler unattended in the bath even for a second. Don’t be tempted to rush out to answer the phone or the doorbell.