Play is an essential part of every child’s life. Through it, toddlers and young children not only have fun but they also learn who they are and how the world around them works. Play contributes to the cognitive, physical, social, and emotional well-being of kids. It helps them develop confidence and self-esteem, imagination and self-expression, physical skills (motor skills and hand-eye coordination), language and social skills (cooperation and compromise), concentration, problem-solving and creative thinking as well as independence and emotional resilience.
Yes, play is immensely important. Aside from children, parents benefit from it as well for it gives them the precious chance to engage fully with their little ones. One of the best types of play for both young children and their parents is bath time play. Read on to find out why.
It goes without saying that bath time is the time at which you, as a parent, should focus on your child without being interrupted by your phone buzzing or a business email waiting to be sent. When in the bathroom, your eyes should always be on your little bundle of joy – the number one safety rule. This “technology-free zone” offers you an opportunity to bond as well as interact in a meaningful way with your child.
Since bath time is probably the time when your toddler/young kid gets touched more than any other time during their waking hours, it’s an extremely significant activity for both you and your little one. When you rub your baby’s skin, it stimulates the vagus nerve, which slows down the physiology, heart rate, blood pressure, and changes brain waves in the direction of relaxation. But water play engages other senses as well. Watching bubbles burst, listening to water sounds, and smelling the soap are all parts of the multi-sensory experience.
Fine Motor Development
Introducing bath toys to your little one is a smart decision because kids bathroom toys can help your child refine their fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. As your munchkin tries to scoop and pour water into empty containers or plays with their favourite natural rubber bath toy, the small muscles of their body (especially the ones in their hands) and their ability to manipulate their environment develop.
Language and Communication Development
Since kids bathroom toys are super cute and fun as well as come in different shapes, sizes, and colours, you’ll be able to introduce new vocabulary choices to your child. Simply talk to them. In addition to this, water play or bath time as a whole supports language concepts such as sequencing and prediction because you usually do the same things in the same order each time.
Social Skills Development
If you are a proud parent of two or more toddlers/young children, then giving them their bath at the same time can help them learn to share and take turns as they share the physical space and toys in the water. This can also help them learn how to initiate an idea and share it with a friend.
Water Play Soothes
The repetitive nature of scooping and pouring water with the help of bath time toys has the power to relax and unwind. Allowing your child to play freely with their bath toys is in a way a form of encouraging their emotional development. Furthermore, bath time as a whole is a routine that can infuse your kid with a sense of control. Their familiarity with this activity can help them learn to regulate their emotions and behaviour.
Water Play Boosts Creativity and Imagination
This is yet another strong reason to consider introducing kids shower toys to your little one’s bath time. All the adorable designs, shapes, sizes, and colours these toys come in stimulate your child’s curiosity and creativity. Children love making up stories about the toys they enjoy spending time with.
Water Play Promotes Learning Mathematical and Scientific Terms
With the help of a few basic bath time toys (a set of stacking cups is a great option), you can introduce your munchkin to terms such as full, empty, half, more, and less. You can also try to teach your little one when an object floats and when it sinks. Try to make it as interesting as possible.
Now that you know the ‘why’, let’s focus on the ‘when’.
At What Age Should You Introduce Bath Toys?
According to a number of experts, you can add toys to your little one’s bath time routine in their first few months, but they’ll most likely ignore them. However, if you’re having a hard time bathing your munchkin because they don’t really enjoy it, bath toys can reduce their anxiety and excite them for bath time. A simple set of cups used for scooping and showering water over your child can easily help you make your little one giggle and smile. Some of the most recommended bath toys for babies are natural rubber teethers because they provide gentle play and teething relief. When shopping for such items, look for ones without holes as they are easier to clean and don’t end up with mould inside.
Since 6-month-old babies have strong and steady neck muscles, good head control, and good hand-eye coordination, this age is considered to be the ideal time to start introducing bath toys to little ones. Additionally, 6-month-olds are able to sit upright by themselves and their fine motor skills may have developed enough for them to be able to grasp objects. This explains why babies at this age begin to show interest in toys. If your munchkin is half a year old, consider purchasing bath time toys in bright colours. 6-month-olds begin to appreciate and recognise them.
Toddlers can play with pretty much any bath toy. From boats, submarines, seaplanes, and seacopters to watering cans and sea life playsets, there are oh so many wonderful options. Most kids shower toys are colourful and thoughtfully designed, which makes them an irresistible form of entertainment for young ones. They can help you encourage your toddler to bathe regularly.
If you can’t afford to buy brand new toys right now, you can use everyday items as bath time toys. Empty bottles and cups can do the trick just fine. You can make things more fun for your little one by encouraging them to imagine that these objects are boats or submarines and create a story about them.
Aside from choosing safe and eco-friendly bath toys for your child, you can also invest in a fence which will keep your munchkin away from the tap end of the bath. If purchasing safety equipment seems unnecessary to you, you can turn your boiler’s temperature down to hand-hot and help your kid understand the risks of touching the taps. This is how you’ll protect your child from getting scalded (the taps will still be hot, but not dangerously hot) as well as save money and help the environment.