Social & Emotional Development

10 Fun Baby Bath Time Ideas

By: Nancy Josephson Liff
A baby enjoying bath time
2 minutes to read
Ages 0-2
Critical Thinking
Fine Motor Skills

Here’s proof that bathing isn’t just for scrub-a-dub-dubbing. Check out the following activities. (Hint: They have nothing to do with getting your child clean!)

1. Add food coloring to water

It won’t stain your tub—or your baby. But it will instantly take baths to another level.

2. Turn the tub into a ball pit

Deposit a dozen or so plastic or rubber balls into the bathtub. Help your little one catch or sink them.

3. Create a waterfall

Convert a plastic colander, cup and plate into tub-time go-tos. Let your sweetie discover what happens when they use them to scoop up water.

4. Go old school

Flip off the lights. Use a lantern or flashlight for illumination.

5. Blow bubbles

Bring this outside activity into the bathroom. The mess disappears with the water.

6. Catch colorful ice cubes

Snag a handful of food dye–colored ice cubes (or colorful plastic ones) straight from the freezer. Drop them into the water. Encourage your little one to grab them. Use clear cubes to up the challenge.

7. Group like things together

Slip two sets of colorful foam craft sheets into the water. Ask your Picasso to show you two reds, two yellows and two blues. Try this game again with foam shapes, letters and numbers.

8. Add color

Offer your baby or toddler some baby-safe paints and a paintbrush. Let your baby decorate the inside of the bathtub. Watercolor paint will not ruin the tub—or your child.

9. Whip up some tub suds

Use baby-safe shampoo and style silly hairdos.

10. See it, say it

Point to—and label—everything you use for a bath just as you’re about to use it. Talk about the soap, the shampoo, the towel, the washcloth and the floor mat. Take turns pointing and labeling to keep the conversation going.

The whole family will be working as a team in these games for all ages — social emotional learning has never been so fun!

Author Photo
By: Nancy Josephson Liff

Nancy Josephson Liff writes about child development, parenting and early childhood education. She has three children.