Looking for ways to turn bath time into fun time? Cuddledry asked Cathy James for some ideas. Cathy is a mother of two girls and an Early Years educator who runs her own childcare business. She is the founder of Nurturestore, a site dedicated to inspiring parents to give their chidren the best start in life by nurturing them through play.
In most families with young children bath time is an essential part of a bedtime routine. As well as its practical function of getting messy children clean have you thought of the ways bath time play can help your child to develop? At Nurturestore we’re passionate about giving children opportunities to learn but always in a fun and playful way – and there’s no better time than bath time in which to do this.
Bubbles build brain power
Using bubbles, whether from bubble bath or blown from a pot of a bubble juice, can help your child to develop their thinking skills. At first appearance the bubbles look like solid objects, so you’ll notice a look of surprise when your little one pops a bubble. It’s a change they weren’t expecting and this challenges their thinking, giving them new information about the world to ponder. Bubbles are also wonderful for sensory play – they’re tactile and fragrant and so stimulate a young child’s senses.
How about providing some bottles and funnels in different sizes for your child to play with. As they pour water from one size bottle to another, and see how the water sometimes doesn’t fill the bottle and sometimes over flows, they’re working with mathematical concepts. This early play is in fact teaching your child about volume and dimension.
Sink or Swim
You can bring a science to bath time for even the youngest children by providing a selection of objects for them to see what sinks and what floats. Try a flannel, a cork, a toothbrush, a wooden block and a teaspoon.
Singing with your child is such a good way to help them develop language skills and there are lots of songs which work well at bath time. You could try:
Row, Row, Your Boat
I’m a Little Teapot
It’s Raining, It’s Pouring
I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles
A final idea for bath time is to vary the toys available to give you child the chance to exercise their imagination. Give them a few boats and passengers to play with. Perhaps a family of rubber ducks or some undersea creatures. Try a teapot with cups and saucers or a plastic doll, a flannel and an empty shampoo bottle. Sit alongside them to join in their play, but let them take the lead and see how their creative ideas come to life.
I hope you’ll have fun helping your child try some of these ideas and I hope you’ll come over to Nurturestore for more inspiration on ways to get the most from your child’s play.
P.S. From Cuddledry – don’t forget your snuggly baby apron towel for a stress free finish to bath time!