If you’re stuck inside, try out-of-the-box bath activities with your preschoolers. There’s nothing better than the sound of their giggles as they delight in the fun!
Pennsylvania preschool teacher Valerie Feldman says, “For a change of scenery, try the bathroom instead of the usual play area. But don’t leave your preschooler unsupervised. That said, there are so many fun and educational bath activities you can do.”
Here are 10 amazing bath activities for toddlers and preschoolers. Some are educational, and all are creative and fun, fun, fun!
- DIY Bath Activity: Soap Crayons
- Catch a Star
- Squirt Me With Recycled Fun
- Spray Paint Bubble Bath
- Alphabet Letter Sounds Bath Activity
- Sponge Animal Bath Bomb
- PVC Bath Tunnels
- Bath Time Play Dough
- Car-Themed Bath Activity
- Beach Party!
1. DIY Bath Activity: Soap Crayons
Making soap is one of the most fun bath activities to do with preschoolers. It’s super easy, too. And what could be more fun than drawing on the walls of the bathtub with homemade creations? (Don’t worry: The lines on the walls will be lightly colored and will wash off easily.)
Here’s what you need:
- A brick of white or clear glycerin soap from the craft store or two bars of white glycerin soap. (Don’t use Ivory soap – it’s made with whipped air and won’t melt the right way). You’ll use about 3 squares from the brick to make 1 soap crayon, or 1/2 a bar of soap for each crayon.
- A silicone soap mold in any shapes you’d like for your crayons.
- Liquid soap dyes for color.
- Small bowls, one for each color crayon you want to make.
- Spoons, one for each color crayon you’ll make.
- One microwave-safe bowl.
- Access to microwave.
And here are the steps:
- Place your silicone mold on a tray that will fit in the freezer, like the one from your toaster oven.
- Chop up your soap.
- Melt the chopped soap for 30-60 seconds in a microwave-safe dish.
- Pour soap into liquid measuring cup. And from there, separate melted soap into small bowls – one for each color crayon you want to make. (The spout of the measuring cup makes it easier to get into the small bowls.)
- Mix in about 10 drops of liquid soap dye into each small bowl.
- Put one small bowl back into the microwave for 15 seconds, and then pour contents into a liquid measuring cup.
- Pour from the liquid from the measuring cup into your mold.
- Wash out the measuring cup, so you’re ready to work on the next color crayon.
- Now repeat the steps for each colored crayon you want to make.
- Place in freezer an hour until hard and ready to use.
2. Catch a Star
Asia Citro at the blog Fun at Home with Kids has discovered the joy of playing with gelatin! She says:
“Gelatin is one of our favorite sensory materials over here. We’ve done a baby sensory play with it, we’ve made it fizz like pop rocks, and we’ve frozen it. So it was only natural that we’d make it glow.”
Asia has a super cool recipe for making glow-in-the dark edible stars that are perfect for squishing and catching in the tub.
3. Squirt Me With Recycled Fun
You know how a cardboard box is the best toy? Well, this is one of the most simple bath activities that can yield a similar type of exhilaration.
Grab some of the more interesting shaped plastic cartons from your recycle bin. Run through the dishwasher and then let your little one live it up in the bathtub.
You’ll be amazed at how much fun they will have squirting bathwater out of a plastic ketchup bottle, or pouring water over their head from a plastic yogurt container.
4. Spray Paint Bubble Bath
The flowing bathtub water might help your preschooler get in touch with her inner artist! Jen over at Mama.Papa.Bubba made a clever set of bathtub paints for her preschooler.
First, she filled several water bottles with water. Then she added a few drops of a different food coloring to each. Finally, she filled the tub with bubble bath and watched her preschooler make a bathtub masterpiece.
5. Alphabet Letter Sounds Bath Activity
Educational bath activities are the best. Here’s a great one from the NurtureStore that’s will help your preschooler associate learning letters with great fun!
Put foam letters of the alphabet in the tub along with a bunch of your child’s toys. Ask your child to pick a letter. Next, ask your child to wash the letter with soap and a washcloth. This helps your preschooler to focus on the feel and shape of that letter.
Now for the fun part: Can you preschooler find a toy in the tub that starts with that letter?
Relaxing with letters is the first step to developing a life-long love affair with words.
6. Sponge Animal Bath Bomb
Making a toy for the tub makes bathtime extra fun!
With a few simple ingredients, you can help your preschoolers make bath bombs with different colors. Add a few drops of essential to add another sensory dimension.
For a quick adorable bath bomb recipe that includes a hidden sponge animal inside, watch this video from Brooke at What’s Up Moms:
Like I said earlier with the soap crayon activity, DIY bath activities provide hours of fun. And when kids make creations they can use with their own hands, they feel oh-so-satisfied.
7. PVC Bath Tunnels
Want to replicate the fun of a giant water park right in your bathtub? Then this is the activity for you.
A word of warning: You’ll need to be able to use a drill. What you’ll do is get PVC pipes in elbow-shapes and T’s. Next, drill holes and wedge in suction cups. Then stick these on your bathroom walls for amazing hours of water fun.
Find more details about this super cool activity created by Ellis Belus and posted on the OhMeOhMy blog.
8. Bath Time Play Dough
Mushy, squishy, soft and knead-y. Is there a day that can’t be made more fun with Play Dough? Of course, not! And there isn’t a bathtub that can’t be made more fun with Play Dough either.
Here from Sugar, Spice & Glitter is a bathtime Play Dough Soap recipe that you can make with your preschooler, and then your preschooler can enjoy making shapes with it in the tub.
Why not whip up a batch of yellow Bath Time Play Dough so your kids can make their own rubber duckies!
9. Car-Themed Bath Activity
Have you ever run into a preschooler who hates the bath but loves toy cars? If yes, you’ll want to listen up very carefully.
Mom Samantha from Stir the Wonder came up with this brilliant and extremely simple car-themed bath for her toddler son. All you need is craft foam, a permanent marker and scissors.
From here you can create a road along the ledge of the tub, as well as stop signs, lights and all kinds of car-related fun. The foam sticks to wet walls, so no need for tape.
Vroom! Vroom! Bathtime just got a serious workup.
10. Beach Party!
Preschool teacher Valerie Feldman recommends pulling out all the stops by hosting a beach party for your preschooler in your bathroom! This amazing bath activity can be as simple or elaborate as you’d like. To go all out, follow these steps (and to keep it simple, choose one or two):
First, make some popsicles by freezing juice in plastic cups and adding popsicle sticks. Or, alternatively, how about some fruit smoothies?
Next, prepare your Spotify playlist. Try hits like Little White Duck (by Raffi), Have You Seen the Dolphin? (by Itty Bitty Beats) or look for the album sure to create the perfect vibe: Catch a Wave: Beach Songs for Kids.
Put on bathing suits—and yes, if there’s not another preschooler to join the party, that means you too.
Get your beach towels, flip flops and a beach ball if you have one. Lay your towels on the floor. Fill the tub. Add some bubbles. (This is my favorite bubble bath.)
Now let the party begin! Take a dip in the ocean and enjoy your popsicles there for maximum fun.
And if you really want to turn this into a longer activity, make some Summer Swim Bath Bombs. (They should harden overnight for best results, so you’ll want to do this at least one day before the Beach Party starts.) This bath bomb will turn your water into a sparkling, bubbly sea blue. During the beach party, you can throw one into the tub and then search the sea floor for the hidden surprise!
How Can I Make Bath Bombs With Preschoolers?
Making bath bombs is a full-on sensory activity to do with a preschooler. Your kid can be the assistant as you measure ingredients, sniff out delicious scents to add to the recipe, and choose between dried flowers or smoothing skin butters.
The only hard part is waiting for the bath bombs to dry! But your preschoolers will be more than thrilled when they see their bath bombs creations unleash a bounty of fun in the bathtub.
Plus, if you have a reluctant bather, this can be just the trick. Check out How to Make Bath Bombs: The Ultimate Guide. You’ll find everything you need, including recipes for every season.
What’s the Best Way for You to Relax in the Tub?
Now that you’ve given your preschooler fun in the tub, why not get in the bathtub and rejuvenate yourself? You sure deserve it!
Explore 21 Relaxing Bath Ideas to Take Me-Time to the Next Level. You’ll get relaxing bath ideas that go well beyond bubble baths and bath bombs. Learn about the benefits of bathing in champagne or how to whip up a DIY face scrub to moisturize while you soak.
Of course, the bathtub is also an ideal place to practice meditation. If you’ve tried meditating on dry land but found yourself fidgeting, bathtub meditation can be just the trick to calm your mind and restore your soul.