Bath can be a great time for play and communication. You could spend lots of money on bath toys but some of the best water play toys are in your kitchen! You may not want to take your actual kitchen utensils to the bath, but “think kitchen” (measuring cups, slotted spoons, funnels, colanders, bowls, pots, etc.) when looking for bath toys. Our plastic, colorful set of stacking measuring pots and spoons has been used in the play room, bath tub, water table, at the pool, and at the beach! Great toys for practicing washing, mixing, filling, dumping, etc…
Whatever toys you choose, bath time can be great for speech and language practice as your baby most likely has your undivided attention. Also, it’s a fairly set routine which means it’s predictable and repetitive which is so important for language practice. Here are some ideas:
- Name (or sing) the steps of the bath time routine as you do them:
- water on (“ready, set, go”)
- water off (“stop”)
- clothing (“off”)
- bath time (“wassshhh head, elbow, hand, toes…”)
- towel (“dry”)
- get dressed (pajamas “on”)
Suggestion: Use the tune of “Twelve Days of Christmas” to name the steps:
When it’s time to take a bath, the first thing we do… is turn the water on
When it’s time to take a bath, the next thing we do… is turn the water off
Etc. Etc. Etc.
- Sing Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes – if using bubbles in the bath put the bubbles on the appropriate body part as you sing
- Choose your favorite water sound as you pour water on baby… “ssss”, “whee”, “whooaaa”, “ssshhh”, “ooo”
- Play peek-a-boo with the washcloth. (Also check out my post: The Power of Peekaboo)
- Choose a syllable “ba, ma, da…” and repeat it over and over as you splash or tap on a toy
Don’t forget mirror play! After bath is a fun time to imitate silly faces in the mirror, practice silly sounds, identify eyes, nose, etc., or do another round of peek-a-boo. The mirror is also a great time to practice the child’s name or saying “me”. Ask “Who’s this?” while pointing to yourself. Then enthusiastically tap your chest and say “ME” or “MOMMY”. Then point to your little one in the mirror and ask “Who’s that?” They may just stare or giggle or look confused. If so, gently pat their chest (or help them tap their own chest) with another enthusiastic “ME” or NAME.
If your little one is already starting to talk but words aren’t consistent yet, try these two little words. You may also be interested in Magical Moments.
Looking for some “bath” toys? Here are some links to Amazon…
(Disclosure: I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.)
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