Veronika loves to mother her baby dolls, and frets intensely whenever one gets dirty (a spot of glue, dirt from outside, etc.). So I’ve wanted to give her a chance to wash her dolls in a “bath” for a while now, but all of the ones we own have soft cloth bodies.
When I spotted a tiny all-plastic doll at the toy store, I knew it would be worth the purchase. Sure enough, Veronika wanted to carry”new baby” around all day, and that was before I even trotted out the big surprise. It was New Baby’s bath time!
I set out a basin of shallow soapy water (use baby shampoo for a tear-free activity), along with a small cloth, a bath toy, a cup for pouring, and some pretend creams and lotion. (Note: Depending on your toddler’s age, feel free to provide real baby powder or lotions for the game).
New Baby was ready for her bath! Veronika so lovingly and carefully attended to this task. She scrubbed New Baby with the cloth, poured water over her head (“shampoo!”), made her jump and splash in the water, and more.
Midway through the bath, New Baby needed a sip of milk, of course!
I also used the opportunity to name all of the doll’s body parts, including less common ones like wrists, ankles, and elbows. Mostly, though, I sat back and let Veronika dictate the way that bath time would go.
Your child can learn so much from this game, whether the above-mentioned body part vocab, the mechanics of washing, and social/emotional learning as well.
Plus water is fun to splash with!
When she seemed about to tire of the game, I declared it was time for the doll to get “warm and dry”, which is exactly what I say to her when she needs to towel off. She was so proud to handle this task.
Take a look at the hug and snuggle that followed! This is exactly how I carry her to warm up after a bath, and it pretty much made my heart explode.