10 Ways to Have Fun With Baby at Bath TimeKatlyn Joy | 9, November 2011
Babies and toddlers go through phases with water. Sometimes they love it and you have to pull a shrieking pruned up baby out of the water while other times they abhor it and will sound as if you've submerged them in lava. However, bath time doesn't have to be about just getting clean. It can be a time for fun and learning as well.
1. Pour. Pouring water from one container to another is a fine motor skill and a small dabbling into baby science. Baby loves learning how the water fills and flows from one thing to another. For extra fun make sure you have a variety of sizes and shapes of containers. You can use empty yogurt containers, margarine tubs or small soda bottles. Poke holes in some of the containers to make tiny sprinklers.
2. Shaving cream. Squeeze a dollop of shaving cream on the side of the tub and let your toddler enjoy the feel of squishing and rubbing the stuff on the tub surface and on herself. You can add a drop or two of food coloring for added interest. This sensory activity is sure to intrigue those chubby toddler hands.
3. Squirt. Give baby's fingers a little workout to increase their fine motor strength by supplying him with little medicine droppers and squirting bath toys. That squeezing motion in rewarded with a sudden squirt of water. Let baby combine the squirting with the shaving cream and have your child clean off a smear of the cream with a squirting toy.
4. Float. What would bath time play be without a rubber ducky? Besides this classic favorite, consider a boat and other objects that stay afloat. You can fashion your own bath toys from craft foam. Consider making fish shapes, letters, or whales and dolphins. Make a game out of determining whether a toy or object will sink or float.
5. Color. Purchase some thick bath crayons just right for little slippery hands and let your pint-sized Picasso have at! Your child will work on dexterity and you can introduce color words to increase his vocabulary. Plus the creativity of coloring away madly without fear of getting in trouble is always a plus. Another fun idea is to try bath tint to color the water cool shades.
6. Bubbles. While bubbles are not recommended for all kids, especially those with skin conditions such as eczema or those with a propensity for urinary tract infections, bubbles are quite fun for the tub. If your child has any of the aforementioned issues, consider just blowing bubbles together in the tub without adding bubble bath to the water. For those who can handle the solution, let baby enjoy blowing bubbles, making a bubble beard or pouring bubbles.
7. Grooming and hygiene. Yes, these can be fun. Let baby have a play razor and let him shave his face of bubbles, (sorta) just like daddy. Or when shampooing create some funny hairdos and snap digital photos to enjoy after bathtime. When washing, either buy or make a simple terrycloth mitten/puppet and sing songs or use silly voices while washing your toddler. Name the body parts while washing them so baby can start learning to label her anatomy. As she gets older, ask her to wash her tummy, then her arms and so on.
8. Peek a boo. This is easily played with a washcloth in the tub. You can play with your face and the cloth, or hide small toys under the washcloth. Let baby pull away the rag to reveal the desired object.
9. Pretend play. Don't forget the classics like putting in plastic dolls, cars and toys and having old fashioned pretending fun. Plus it's great for baby to compare how the toys look dry and then wet. Let your child pretend to fish with a toy fishing pole and fish or be a deep sea diver with goggles or mask.
10. Splash and swim. While you may be sorry for this one when his limbs can create serious water damage, now it's just some wet splashy fun. Show your little one how to splash water using his hand or let him lay on his belly, while fully supported by you, and kick his legs and feet to stir up some crazy waves. It's some fun gross motor skill building.
Remember, never leave your child unattended for even a moment while in the tub. Be certain to empty the water when you're through, as well.
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