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9 Kid Approved Bath Toy Essentials
It seems nearly every child is fascinated and loves splashing in the water. My kids run to the bathroom at the sound of running water. Not only do we use bath time in the evening as just a regular part of personal hygiene (and an opportunity for one parent to clean the house in peace), but we also frequent the bathtub on rainy days or when we need a general reset to boost our mood. I can easily get 30 minutes of peace and we all come out re-energized afterward. But having the proper bath toys is essential to achieving this relaxing time. Here are my kid-tested bathtime favorites:
Learning Resources Shape Shell Turtles:
These turtles are good for learning both colors and shapes. Like a mini puzzle, kids can piece together the shell of the turtle by matching the correct shapes. One caution is that these toys have a small hole near the mouth that could be used as a squirter bath toy, but I opted to use hot glue to seal the mouth and avoid potential future mold issues. This bath toy also became a favorite during our obsession with Eric Carle’s “The Foolish Tortoise” book. Another tip is to research turtle facts while playing and become expert on all things turtles.
Green Toy Vehicles:
We love the Green Toys for their seemingly indestructible structures made from recycled material. They have a huge range of products including vehicles are that typically found in water such as a ferry boat, floater plane, submarine and many more options. These are great for my car-loving boy and fun to play rescue with. Turn these vehicles upside down to drain all the water out after bath time is over.
Test Tubes, Water Droppers, and Beakers:
I purchased these from Target in the Bullseye section as my 4-year-old was becoming very interested in science. One was a set of water droppers and another was a set of test tubes and beakers. We bring these to the bathtub. Child-approved science activities include dying a little bit of water with food coloring and allowing your kids to use the droppers and test tubes to mix colors. We love using primary colors to make secondary colors. Sometimes we even add some Epsom salt to the beakers and add water until it has all dissolved.
I got this alphabet puzzle as a thrift find for 49 cents and we absolutely LOVED it when we went through our alphabet learning phase. So much so that somehow we lost the letter I. Made of foam, the individual letters float and are fun to scoop up into a cup or use a little plastic insect net from the dollar store. We love this so much that I will probably buy this set when my next child starts learning letters and numbers.
Chuckle and Roar A-Z Matching:
These squares stick on most bath walls and are fun for playing a game of matching (only put out 3-5 pairs and add more as your child grows and learns the rules of the game). It also teaches uppercase and lowercase. The images used correspond with the letter, within the realm of aquatics, and is a great way to teach and expand our vocabulary.
You can purchase bath bombs and I definitely have some on hand for a quick pick-me-up. You can also make your own for a great 2-for-1 activity. Again my kid loves science and doing all things messy, so this is right up her alley. It’s also fun to hide little trinkets in the DIY versions such as the little toys from Kinder eggs, dress-up ring, or small animal/dino figures. Super easy to switch up the colors, or even the mold by visiting the baking section silicon molds to match the current season/holiday of the year.
Nuby Wacky Waterworks:
What kid doesn’t love scooping and pouring water? This is also super fun because of all the added features of cause and effect of turning specific knobs to get the water to flow. Learn about buoyancy to get the ball to float, spin the water wheel, or use the filter to satisfy the continuous water flow desire. It attaches to the wall using a suction cup. Personal opinion, it could use a few more suction cups for added stability while in use as the valves can easily come apart and be rearranged. We also really like the Nuby Octopus toy for a game of ring toss plus it floats which is great for even our infant to easily grasp. Another similar tube with various waterwork features is the Boon Pipes. We switch it out for these occasionally for extra variety.
This play on a ball run is so much fun for water play. The ducks slide down the ramps. My kids love to try to catch the ducks before they fall into the water and the pieces can be configured to make different slide patterns to switch things up. I had been looking at this set for a long time and waited for it to go on sale. One word of caution is one of the ducks does have metal wheels and these can rust, so I remove this option for water play. It sticks to the wall using suction cups and can also be used on a wall mirror for more versatility.
Empty spray bottle – used to clean toys
Bath Paint – extra fun with this plastic palette from the dollar store and pairs well with the spray bottle above to clean off the walls after. From my personal experience, the bath crayon clogged our tub drain so I’m sticking to the paint!
Water Coloring Tablets – I get these from Walmart. While they do come in 6 colors, we also like to mix them to make our own colors. The lid can be used as a color waterfall to extend the life of the small tablet.
Barbies – we specifically keep the color reveal Barbie for bathtub play as they have special features that change color according to water temperature.
Cup and Spoons – used to make soup and coffee