Unwrap

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Now that Veronika is old enough to understand a good surprise, this little bath time game was a big hit. It’s as simple as this: I showed her a toy, and then wrapped it up in her washcloth.

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Where did owl go?

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She eagerly grabbed at the cloth and figured out how to work her way through the layers to the owl. She looked quite pleased, although she may have enjoyed the washcloth “prize” a bit more!

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As she turned her attention to a little foam bear, I pulled that one aside and made sure she saw it go into the washcloth next.

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I wrapped him up… and she got to “unwrap” a present!

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If you prefer a dry version of this game, babies love unwrapping their toys from wrapping paper or tissue paper. What’s old is instantly new again! Who says presents are just for birthdays?

Spoons and Cups in the Tub

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I used to avoid giving Veronika anything resembling a cup at bathtime, because she lifted everything to her mouth and that meant a mouthful of soapy bath water (yuck!).

Now that she’s not mouthing everything automatically, these simple items make for fantastic tub time. I recently wanted her to have an extra long bath (to help soothe a slight sniffle; hello back-to-school season), and these kept her occupied for so long.

After she played for a while in her own way, I showed her how to stir. She really did try to imitate the motion!

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Likewise, you can show your baby the idea of water transfer, whether from cup to cup, or from the measuring spoons into a cup.

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She also tried stacking them, tapping them together, and swishing them around in the water. And she came out from the bath a little less sniffly!

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Simple Shower

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This is a quick and easy DIY activity that will help teach your baby about cause and effect – and make for a great bath toy!

Use a leftover container from the grocery store that has an easily-pierceable lid: think non-dairy cream cheese or cottage cheese (if your family eats dairy).

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Use a small screwdriver or metal skewer to pierce holes through the lid. It helped to twist the screwdriver a bit to make the holes wide enough.

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Fill the container about half way with water and add the lid. Invert over your baby in the tub, and watch the water shower down!

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Veronika looked up in wonder – and of course tried to reach for it.

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I had to give the container a little squeeze for the water to come out, which was nice since I could control the speed. Drizzle the little shower of water over your little one’s tummy or hands, and then encourage him or her to take the container and continue the fun!

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Once in her hands, she was more interested in the container itself than in making it “rain,” but one way or another, it made for a fun bath.

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Take Turns

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It’s never too early to demonstrate turn-taking and today I played with Veronika in a few different ways to demonstrate.

First, we sat down for some musical fun, since she’s been very into instruments lately!

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I played a drum for her and said “Mommy’s turn!” Then I pointed to her hands and removed my own. “Veronika’s turn,” I told her.

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It took her a moment but then her little hands were on the drum rubbing and tapping. You can do this with just about any toy. Next up was a rain stick: Mommy’s turn!

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Veronika’s turn!

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And then a rattle.

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You can also use this game to encourage skills that your baby will need later on, like dressing, washing, or brushing their own teeth (I wish I’d done something similar with Travis!). At bath time, I used the washcloth and again said, “Mommy’s turn.”

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Then I handed it to her. For now it might be more of a toy than for washing, but she’ll get the idea.

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The game was easy at toothbrushing time, since she already loves brushing her own tooth!

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She barely gave me a turn before she took over!

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Bath Time Foam Blocks

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Veronika is sitting so well in her tub now that it felt like time to mix things up and add a new game to our standard splashy fun.

First, I used a set of foam building blocks, normally a playroom toy, as bath toys. These were great because I could push them down under the water and show her how they instantly pop back up.

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She got the idea right away! With each pop up, I made noises of surprise and delight, which soon had her doing the same.

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If you want, you can also purchase foam sponge toys intended for the bath. We love the animal bath toys set from 3 Bees & Me, which comes with a handy storage bag and features everything from a tiger to a squirrel to a kangaroo. These are large enough for the littlest hands to grip, even in slippery water.

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As with the blocks, I showed Veronika how to push them underwater and then watch them surface again.

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Of course they found their way quickly to her mouth, too. In sum, we’re excited to play with foam in many a bath to come!

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Bubbles and Squirty Water

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With Veronika sitting up in the tub, the fun continues to bubble over in new ways!

I mean that literally tonight; it was time to introduce her to the great joys of bubble baths. Make sure you’re using a baby-safe, tear-free formula, especially because your little one is likely to touch mouth or eyes with a sudsy hand at some point. Luckily Veronika seemed unfazed when this happened.

First I just showed her the bubbles as we ran the water.

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Once in the tub, we hid a favorite toy, a bright yellow ducky. She loved digging for it in the bubbles!

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I also blew bubbles gently onto her back and tummy, for a giggly sensation.

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Then we got squirty! I used an empty dish soap bottle to squirt water, both over the bubbles and onto her skin. She wanted to catch the stream of water!

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You can also do this with a funnel.

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Or with a sieve (we have a bath cup with little holes that’s perfect, and better-sized for baby hands than an actual sieve). I drizzled a little stream of water over her toes and palms, which she loved!

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How do you make bath fun for your baby at this age? Please share in the comments!

Bath-time Fun!

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Two months ago, I posted about Veronika’s switch to the big girl tub (well, big baby tub anyway). Now that she’s able to sit up for short spells on her own, we can make bathtime even more fun! As always, never leave your baby unattended in the tub, even for a moment, and keep a supporting hand on a baby even once they’re able to sit; everything is slipperier in the water!

One great new toy we have is a puppet washcloth. You can find these adorable washcloths with animal heads just about anywhere (ours is from Target), and they make bathtime truly entertaining. Veronika’s little fox likes giving kisses to toes and knees and tummies!

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She also loves to pat at the bubbles in the water.

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I pat my hand in the bubbles to add to the fun. You can do this rhythmically along to a song or nursery rhyme. Row Row Row Your Boat is a go-to in our tub.

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And as always, she has her plastic tub toys to play with; she’s getting much more dexterous at holding them even with slippery hands.

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At this age, I recommend skipping any fancy battery-operated toys. As long as its plastic and watertight, it can join baby in the water.

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Happy bathing!

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Make a Splash

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Veronika has officially graduated from the infant tub to a mid-sized option. One clever hack is to place a laundry basket in a full-sized tub so your baby still feels safe and confined. (Bonus points: you can wash bigger kids in the same tub at the same time, this way). I also have an inflatable tub that’s just the right size for a baby until about age 1, and today Veronika moved up.

The nice thing about the new tub is the ability to add little toys to the water. I added not just the classic rubber ducky, but also other farm friends, like a rubber horse, pig, owl, sheep, and cow.

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These seemed to really help Veronika feel comfortable despite the very new bath setting.

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They’re also just the right size for her little hands to hold, and hopefully will soon encourage her to splash and play.

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And simply seeing the bright colors entertained her, as the animals floated around.

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As a reminder, make sure one hand is always supporting your baby’s head, even as you add in these toys, and never leave a baby unattended in the bath. What does your infant play with in the tub? Please share in the comments!

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