As a parent, you have probably already realised how beneficial a bath can be. Upset or ill? Take a warm bath. A little niggly and needing a different type of play? Take a warm bath. Need some downtime to relax before bed? You’ve got it, take a warm bath. But have you ever thought about how a bath can also aid your toddler or pre-schooler educationally? Let’s take a look at 7 fun and educational bath time activities for them…

Floating and Sinking

Children love bath toys and having a wide variety that will allow them to play and investigate the water in different ways can be invaluable for their development and learning. One perfect way of having fun whilst teaching them is by using items which can float and others that can sink. Talking about the difference between the two, asking them what they can see, why they think it is happening, getting them to catch the sinking toy will all encourage interactive learning.

Filling Up

If you have stacking cups, plastic cups or jugs etc. then use these during bathtime to show your toddler or pre-schooler the differences in filling them up, the weight of them, how long it takes each to empty and what happens when they overflow. Use open questions to get them to think about each action and encourage them to show you rather than you always showing them.

Foam Letters

Foam letters for the bath are a perfect way of having fun but they can also help you in teaching your child about the alphabet and the sounds each letter makes, for spelling and also for colour sorting. These can stick to the side of the bath or onto tiles really easily so they will help with their fine motor skills.

Singing

Children love to join in with singing and it is a great way of teaching them how to speak, about rhythm, how to clap as well as bringing them joy. You can easily incorporate bath toys into this activity especially if you have a counting song or one where the featured character goes away and returns. Some favourites you can use are:

  • If you’re happy and you know it clap your hands – splash hands onto the water to encourage water confidence
  • Five little ducks went swimming one day – Use duck toys to demonstrate this
  • Two little birdies sitting on a wall – Use toys to show them flying away and coming back
  • 1,2,3,4,5 once I caught a fish alive – Use fingers or bath toys for counting, you could also use a bath toy as a fish or act out fishing
  • 3 little men in a flying saucer – you can use toys to show them flying around and when it comes to the line when 1 man flew away, whoosh! You can whoosh your little one around the bath

Target Shooting

If you don’t mind the bathroom getting a little bit wet then this is the perfect game for you all. Line up some targets (the stacking cups or rubber ducks would work well) and use a water gun to squirt each one down. You will be teaching your child how to line the water gun up and aim which is great for their hand-eye coordination as well as their fine motor skills and if you encourage them to count as they hit a target you will be incorporating a little maths into their bath time too.

Hunting For Treasure

This bathtime activity will not only help with learning but also with water confidence which is so important at this age. Take some items like these flashing light up dive coins and let them settle on the bottom of the bath. If you can encourage your child to wear goggles for this, this will help them to understand how beneficial these can be when in the water. If not, and they are confident enough to open their eyes under the water to look, even better! Ask them to pop their faces into the water and see if they can hunt down all of the treasure. If they can count them (or you can for them) and encourage them to say what they can see, you will be providing them with a well-rounded educational activity.

Learning To Swim

A bath is a great place in which to practise those swimming skills so make sure that you include some of the activities and phrases that your swim teacher uses during lessons, that you encourage them to kick their legs and use their “tiger arms”, you ask them to splash their face, get their hair wet and feel completely at ease whilst being in the water.

Bath time doesn’t have to always be the same and hopefully, these educational activities will give you some inspiration and provide your little one with plenty of fun!