When all else fails, add water. A kid who’s cranky, bored or restless becomes a whole new person when you get them in the bathtub or shower. Add the awesome toys below, and you’ve turned bath time into a place for both learning and fun.
SoaPen is a soap-filled pen that lets kids draw on their hands, then work up a lather with water to clean off their drawing. SoaPen makes handwashing fun, so kiddos don't complain about washing their hands, while also mitigating serious health concerns that come from improper hand hygiene.
Growing up in India, SoaPen's co-founders, Amanat and Shubham, saw first-hand the critical lack of good hand hygiene. After winning a UNICEF award back in 2016 for the SoaPen concept, they began working on making it a reality. For every pack of SoaPens sold in the US, they donate one SoaPen to a low-income school.
BabyBibi Bath Books
Baby bookworms will love to turn these pages in the tub. There's a four-book set all about color recognition (available at amazon.com; $18.99), a four-book set that teaches ABCs with animals (amazon.com, $15.99), and a 13-book mega set that includes both four-book sets and adds fruits, numbers & shapes, letters & colors, and more (amazon.com, $34.99). Each book is waterproof, floats on water, and has a squeaking noise maker inside for even more fun.
Tommee Tippee Bath Toys
We love the fun and functional new Splashtime line from Tommee Tippee! The Squirtee Bath Floats (shown above) are cute animals that bob around in floating rings. Give their tummies a squeeze and water squirts out. Best of all: These toys unscrew in the middle for easy cleaning so they don't grow mold as other squirt toys can. The Super Spinners have suction cups that attach to the tub or shower walls. Pour water over the top to watch the wheels spin.
Available at amazon.com, $12.33 for the bath floats and $9.97 for the spinner toys.
Wash Away Bath Book—Farm Animal by HABA USA
Your toddler will have a blast scrubbing all the farm animals clean and helping Grandma do the laundry. When the pages of this ingenious book come in contact with water, all the "dirt" on the pictures disappears. When the pages dry, the spots reappear. This book is also great for the backyard kiddie pool!
Available at habausa.com, $7.99.
Alex Rub a Dub Star Crayon
This star-shaped bathtub crayon is easy for little hands to grip. Kids can color on the tub, tiles or even themselves, and the color washes off with soap and water (wipe down non-porous surfaces). We love that there are no caps or lids that kids could choke on.
Available at amazon.com, $6.99.
Edushape Floating Blocks
Calling all future architects and engineers! When wet, these floating blocks stick together and encourage creative building on the foam base. The set comes with architectural features such as doors and windows to encourage imaginative play.
Available at edushape.com, $19.99.
Boon Jellies Suction Cup Bath Toys
This set of nine colorful jellyfish are tons of fun in the bath. Thanks to the suction cups, kids can stack, link and build cool shapes with them, or stick them to the tub walls and pull them off.
Available at amazon.com, $12.99.
Edushape Sea-Me Whirly
This water wand has three pieces that kids can play with on their own and also snap together for even more fun. Let your little scientists see what happens when water moves through the three sections.
Available at edushape.com, $11.99.
ConservCo Bath & Shower Wand
If your child is afraid of getting water on their head, this cute duck can help. Give it a silly voice and have fun splashing around with it with your child. It also comes as a frog, rhino or hippo.
Available at amazon.com, $12.
Skip Hop Moby Bath Accessories
Keep bath time safe as well as fun with these cute and colorful whale accessories from Skip Hop. The foam elbow rest has a non-slip backing and pocket for small items. The bath kneeler has lots of padding to keep knees comfortable during tub time. With a textured, non-slip surface, all-over suction cups and perforations to aid in drainage, the in-tub bath mat keeps kids from slipping around. And the rubber spout cover fits snugly on most tub spouts to protect kids' heads.
Available at skiphop.com.
—Shelley Massey & Eva Ingvarson Cerise