5 Frugal Ideas to Make Bath Time Fun & Engaging for your Kids

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5 Frugal Ways to Make Bath Time Fun

5 Frugal Ways to Make Bath Time #SoMuchMore

Fun and Engaging for your Kids

Some of my favorite memories of playing with my girls as babies was during bath time. Even though my girls are now older and we don’t do bath time as regularly (showers are so much faster on busy school nights), they still love a long, leisurely bath.  They have always loved bathtime since they were little babies, as it was always a time for giggles, silliness and lots of splashing! Oh my, my girls loved to splash & play during bath time. However, I know not all babies are fond of bath time.

I wanted to share some frugal ideas of how to make bath time a relaxing & fun time for you to bond with your baby or child.  Not only can it be a great bonding time, but you can also use it as an ideal learning time since there are much fewer distractions and you can focus on interacting and talking and singing with your baby or toddler.

5 Frugal Ideas to Make Bath Time Fun & Engaging:

Use Glow Sticks During Bath Time

Glow in the Dark Bath Time

Photo Credit: Sarah Fuccillo Photography

Not only are these super frugal (you can get a pack of about 10-15 glow sticks for just $1 at the dollar store, Target, Walmart and more). Or buy a smaller pack of the thicker glow sticks for the same price. You can just let your baby play with the sticks or make them into rings that attach to each other or separate rings to dig for in the tub. I haven’t tried this activity with my girls yet, but  my friend uses this with her baby & kindergartener and they both love it as you can see above

Using glow sticks a great activity to stimulate their language talking about all the colors you see, as well as build his fine motor skills as your baby tries to pick up the glow sticks around the tub with his fingers.

Add colored ice cubes to the water 

Fill up a bunch of ice cubes with water & drop in a couple drops of liquid food coloring. Babies will have so much fun chasing the ice cubes around through the water, trying to pick them up. Another great fine motor activity as they use their fingers to try to grasp the ice cubes. As the ice cubes melt, then they will have fun colors in the bath water, too. This is a safe activity for baby as it’s just using water and food coloring. {And if you prefer not to use food coloring, you could create natural colors with different foods or juices, too, like blending blueberries for blue, strawberries for red, etc.}

Paint with Shaving Cream 

Shaving Cream Paints

 Photo Credit – Sarah Fuccillo Photography

Babies and kids love something as simple as playing with shaving cream. When you combine shaving cream play with bath time, you have all of the fun without all of the mess! The texture of shaving cream is so fun to smear around their face & bodies as well as all over the tub to make different designs. Shaving cream often goes on sale in the stores and you can combine with coupons for even more savings to often get cans for around $1.

For a fun surprise every now & then, you could add some food coloring to the shaving cream to make it really bright and colorful to paint with. Use a muffin tin to separate the colors and a paint brush or just let them play with it like finger paint. If you have a black light (these can be found at Walmart for around $5 for the bulb to screw into your light just for bath time), add neon tempera paint in different colors and it will make the paint glow as you can see above. {The paint is better for older toddlers/preschoolers as you don’t want them to put this in their mouth because of the paint, but it is safe for their skin.}

Use foam letters, shapes and numbers during bath time

You can find foam letters, numbers and shapes for as low as $1 for a package at the dollar store and I also found these at the Target Dollar Spot. Even when your child is just a baby, if you start introducing letters/sounds and numbers and shapes in fun ways, these can be early literacy activities that will help your baby grow and develop, listening to you say them so they become familiar. My girls loved playing with the foam letters and then eventually putting the letters together to spell nonsense words that we would sound out for them to learn how sounds went together.

Here are some ideas you can use with the foam letters/numbers/shapes:

  • Sing the Alphabet Song and find all the letters while you sing slowly & put them up all around the tub.
  • See if your baby or toddler can find the letter/sound, number or shape as you say them and put them up on the wall of the bathtub
  • Arrange letters in alphabetical order and numbers in numerical order around the tub
  • Make silly objects out of the shapes on the walls
  • Practice putting silly words and real words together as your child gets older and sounding them out together

Use kitchen items for bath time fun

It always seems like kids have more fun with basic items found around the house than the expensive toys you may buy for them. Bath time is no exception – my girls always loved playing with various kitchen items in the bath almost more than their fun bath toys. You could use old kitchen items once you’ve outgrown them for the kitchen or pick up some extras at a thrift store.

Some popular kitchen items to use during bath time:

  • Measuring Cups and measuring spoons of different sizes to pour water from one to another
  • Strainer – babies love to pour water in & see it come out in different ways
  • Small plastic bowls

These are just a few ways  that you can make bath time feel less like a chore and more about a special time to bond with your baby or child. These are also fun activities for dad to do with the kids, too. My husband is actually the primary bather for our girls now, as it’s their special time to connect with daddy at the end of the day since they only see him for a short time during busy week days. Studies have found that more dads are stepping up to help with bath time, with 54% of dads as the primary bathers in the household, so it’s the perfect time to incorporate some fun play time with the ideas I mentioned above to promote that father-baby bonding.

Johnsons Bath Time Infographic #SoMuchMore

Johnson’s, the #1 baby skin care brand, has a new campaign called the Johnson’s So Much More campaign, based on research that has shown how important multi-sensorial experiences during bath time are for happy, healthy baby development. The campaign is about enhancing rituals such as bath time, to stimulate a baby’s senses and provide another avenue for parents to help a child grow & learn through interactive play as well as a special bonding time between mom/dad and baby.

After bath time is very important, too, as research has shown that babies who experienced routine touch and massage  were 50% more likely to make eye contact and 3 times more likely to have an overall positive expression as a baby.  Touch & massage is often a big part of an after-bath routine as you lather your baby up with lotions like Johnson’s Baby Lotion, so this is encouraging news to hear that if you keep up that massage & touch time with your baby after bath time, too, that it has such a positive benefit to their development.

 We’d love to hear what are some of your favorite bath time activities you do with your baby or child? There are so many creative ideas out there to try to make bath time #SoMuchMore engaging and fun for parent and child! 

One Comment

  1. Great… Kids would love to bath with these tips as such fun having tips when its bath time .. and yes, couldn’t ignore the frugality factor of the tips .. thanks. (:

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