10 Activities to Make Bath Time Great for Baby’s Body and Mind
Bath time can be so much fun for our babies . it isn't just to keep them clean and healthy. But did you know that this daily ritual is also packed with early development and learning opportunities? Here are 10 things you can do to make bath time fun and developmentally beneficial for your baby!
1. Bath time is great for multisensory exploration.
Water is one of the best learning tools for your baby to discover different senses. While most of babies day is spent snug and dry, bath time offers your baby a multitude of sensory stimuli to enjoy.
Playing with baby in the bath, try pointing out what baby is experiencing, such as feeling water’s liquid state and temperature, hearing water splish-splash with a slap, seeing its transparent and nearly colorless state, seeing things float up, and smelling the bubble bath.
2.Blowing bubbles for babies to watch and catch
Bubbles excite a curiosity in babies that makes them eager to investigate their world with their senses (sight and touch in this case, and sound if parents blow gently near their ears). Bubbles help babies develop an awareness of shape, form, and texture. I love the Munchkin bubble machine for the bath!
3.Glow stick bath!
Add Glow sticks to the water ( under adult supervision) creates a wonderful sensory light experience! Make sure babies don't try to chew them as they have glass inside .
I buy my glow sticks from Home Bargains for 59p a pack.
4.Disco light bath
Disco light for the bath! This with the glow sticks creates a light up spectacle and visual delight. Try playing some music to add to the fun too!
I love this light and toy. Teddy was bought it last Christmas and he thinks its hilarious.
It squirts out water, and flashes. I think it even plays a little song too!
Water play with sponges is a fantastic way to help your baby develop their fine motor skills. Learning to squeeze water from a sponge or water toy. Offer your baby a variety of sponges to squeeze and play with, but be sure to make them small enough for little hands to handle and use successfully. For a greater challenge, invite baby to aim and squeeze water into small cups as they increase small muscle strength and dexterity.
Young children not only love to learn through music, but their brain connections are also strongly supported by it. In particular, singing during bath time can help your baby have fun as the practices their speaking skills singing along to nursery rhymes while acquiring new knowledge and vocabulary. Try my favorite bath time songs, including Row, Row, Row Your Boat; Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes; and Five Little Ducks.
I love using flannel puppets and bath toys for this too. These are my favourites.
Did you know that your baby can be a scientist in the tub? Bath time supports construction and science discovery. Using foam shapes to play with babies quickly learn how to effectively stick the foam pieces onto the wall or the side of the bath.
Or encourage baby to stack and build a tower using floating foam blocks during bath time. Through trial and error, baby will soon learn that the foam shapes need water as an adhesive to stick to the tub and to build her tower foundation with a wider more stable base to keep it afloat in the water.
My favourite bath foam shapes are these weird and wonderful animals. You can change the body and face , Teddy loves them and makes up little stories with the characters!
8.Art and paint bath time!
Creative art is an important play activity that can enhance your baby’s imagination and creative juices, as well as develop babies ability to self-express. If your baby is 24 months and older, providing baby with some non-toxic bath paints to play with during bath time and encourage baby to paint onto the wall of the bath or paint with thick handle paint brushes, and experiment with mixing new colors! These Nuby bath crayons are lots of fun.
If you don't have bath paints, try colouring water by adding food color into clear water cups.
9. Pour, squirt and splash!
Babies love filling and pouring water into cups, it’s actually fascinating to them. This simple action can help your child gain fundamental skills, including dexterity, hand-eye coordination, cause and effect, and even early maths!
Babies can explores water volume and learn numerical terms, such as more, less, empty and full!
Just give your baby a variety of small plastic cups to experiment with and they'll be scooping and pouring in no time. I love these boat stacking cups, they float and you can sue them to pour water in to each other too.
10. Relaxing lavender bath
Research studies have found that bath time can be used effectively as a destressing time of day to reduce your baby’s cortisol levels, helping baby relax and prepare for a good night’s sleep.
I know I love a scented bath, babies love them too. I love the smell of the Aveeno baby calm wash.
Run your baby’s bath to a warm, comfortable temperature and add a few drops of lavender oil to the water (but be aware of any skin allergies they may have). Place your baby into her aromatherapy bath and give them a nice massage by stroking her legs, shoulders, neck, tummy, arms in circular movements. You could also have a bath together. Skin to skin contact is proven to lower stress levels, release oxytocin and reduce cortisol too.
What's your babies favourite bath toy or game? I'd love to know! Let me know if you try any of the activities too.
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