Your toddler’s day is filled with activities. Young kids are always on the go, so daily baths keep them clean and healthy. Also, bath time provides a soothing routine at the end of the day, helping your child relax before going to bed.
But many parents frequently ask what does allowing kids to play with bath toys do for a child as they’re just not sure how beneficial it really is.
For a young toddler, bath time is also another play and learning opportunity. Choosing the right bath toys will turn a regular bath time routine into a great opportunity for learning, bonding, and entertainment.
When Do Kids Start Using Bath Toys?
Many parents are not sure when to introduce bath toys. A good rule of thumb is to start introducing bath toys around the six-month mark when your baby is able to sit up by himself, has good head control, and starts showing more interest in toys.
Your toddler is probably used to bath time toys by now, but introducing new, age-appropriate toys in the bath is a great opportunity for exploration and learning. It also makes bath time much more fun.
Toddlers love bright colors, different shapes and textures, and toys that float and make bubbles. They enjoy filling and emptying containers in the bath, playing with boats, and rubber bath toys.
Bath safety remains essential, even now when your toddler can sit by himself in the bath. To keep your child safe at bath time, follow these simple rules:
- Never leave your child unattended in the bath – always stay within arm’s reach
- Never leave siblings or older children to supervise
- Make sure the water temperature is between 37-38°C before you put your child in
- Ensure that hot water tap is firmly turned off
- Get everything ready in advance so you don’t have to leave your child unattended
Why is My Child Afraid of Bath Time and What Can I Do to Help?
Some children might be afraid of the bath. A fear of bathing, also called ablutophobia, is a very common fear in toddlers.
If every attempt to give your little one a bath turns into a struggle, try to find out the reasons that trigger avoidant behavior. Some of the most common reasons why young kids dislike bathing involve the following:
- Your child is playing and doesn’t like interrupting the play
- She struggles with transitions
- She is afraid of water
- Your toddler has sensory issues with the water – doesn’t like the feel of water on her face when washing her hair or doesn’t like the water temperature
- Your child is afraid of getting soap into her eyes
- She fears getting sucked up in the drain or slipping into the tub
To help your toddler overcome bath time fears, you can:
- Let your child sit or play in the bath when it’s empty
- Allow him to choose toys for the bath each evening
- Take your toddler out of the bath before you take the plug out, as some kids are afraid of getting sucked with the water down the tub drain
- Take a bath together
Benefits of Bath Time Toys
Toys can be a great strategy to manage bath time struggle and keep your little one entertained and engaged. Toys also make a bath time a more fun and pleasant experience for both you and your toddler.
As long as toys have no batteries and don’t mind getting wet, you can allow your child to have them in the bath, whether it is a specially designed bath toy or a toy your child already has (like plastic figures of animals, trucks, or beach toys).
In the same way you do with your child’s other toys, choose safe bath toys according to your toddler’s interests and age.
Here are some of the benefits of allowing your child to play with bath toys:
1. Toys make Bath Time Less Stressful
While bath time may be relaxing for some children, for many young toddlers, this routine is a source of discomfort and stress. For one reason or another, some kids simply don’t enjoy taking a bath.
Bath time toys can be used as a great distraction for a child who starts a fuss as soon as you bring him into the bathroom. With the right bath toys, bath time can be fun, engaging, and relaxing.
Allow your child to choose the toys for his bath time. Let her practice bathing a toy or a doll while taking a bath.
Toys such as boats or your toddler’s favorite cars are also great choices for playing in the bath, as they will distract the child and help him relax.
2. Bath Toys Promote Your Child’s Development
Bath toys such as bath time stacking cups, floating bath toys with a net, race boats, bath time tea set, rubber or plastic animals, sea creatures, etc. provide lots of fun while promoting learning and your child’s development.
These and similar bath time toys improve hand-eye coordination and your toddler’s fine and gross motor skills. All of the bath toys can be played with in and out of the bath, so the fun and learning don’t have to end once bath time is over.
You can use animal toys to teach your toddler animal names and sounds. Also, you can use bath time toys to teach your child colors, and introduce her to shapes, sizes, textures, and other sensory features.
Furthermore, bath toys encourage your child’s imagination, pretend play, and creativity, promote language development, boost social-emotional skills, help her learn about cause and effect, and much more.
3. Bath Toys Help Strengthen the Connection
Playing together while bathing your little one is a great way to wrap up the day and bond with your toddler.
Bath toys and play can make both you and your child start looking forward to this bedtime routine as a very pleasant experience.
Bath toys can be introduced while your little one is still a baby. While some kids enjoy their bath time, other children dislike this routine.
Bath toys are a great way to help your child manage bath time anxiety and to make this activity more fun. Not only are they a great distraction, but the best bath toys are also a beautiful opportunity to learn, bond, and have lots of fun with your toddler!