Bath time is an integral part of any child’s evening routine.
Once you get past the first, terrifying bath with your newborn, that 20 minutes or so every evening rapidly becomes a bonding and peaceful moment of your day that you’ll look forward to, at least until the battle of bedtime begins.
Playing in the bath also has lots of developmental benefits for your little one. While splashing about, they can be improving fine motor skills, working on their hand-eye coordination and of course, boosting water confidence - something that will come in handy when swimming lessons begin.
Luckily, there’s plenty of toys on the market with options to suit your mini-me and they make great gifts too, but with so many to pick from, where do you start?
Here’s a selection of toys suitable for children of a variety of ages that should keep them occupied and happy in the tub.
Cuddledry Baby Bath Toy & Teether
The classic rubber duck has had a chic makeover thanks to Cuddledry. Available to buy in three colours, these modern day classics are also teethers for babies who have the need to chew everything in sight. And they don’t have a hole in the bottom - meaning no water can get trapped inside and potentially go mouldy.
Buy now £12.99, Scandiborn
Kidly Colour Me Bath Book
This waterproof book is a brilliant bath toy. As well as encouraging your child to read (or, let’s be honest, at a very young age, look at pictures and words in a book!), they will learn about animals thanks to the simple but cute illustrations. Perhaps most impressively, it changes colour when its dipped in water for a real sensory experience that will keep them occupied and engaged.
Buy now £11.00, Kidly
INFANTINO Ocean Fun Bathtime Playset
A great all-round set that features a little bit of everything. It includes eight stacking cups - which of course can also be used outside the bath - and two other activities, including a shape-sorting orca whale (featuring a water-shooting blow hole) and a sort of hoop-throwing-in-a-basket game. Suitable from three months plus.
Buy now £19.99, Amazon
Six to 12 months
Infantino Glowing Jelly Light Bath Toy
Particularly impactful in a darker bathroom - perhaps for baths in winter time when the nights are longer - these little jelly fish are great sensory toys due to their glowing body and textured plastic tentacles. They are also educational - as they only light up when they come into touch with the water, which will keep your child occupied for hours. They are small enough to travel with as well.
Buy now £6.99, Amazon
Green Toys Submarine
Green Toys creates eco-friendly toys made from recycled household materials. This submarine features a spinning rear propeller, a flat bottom so it can float and zoom around the bath, and a handle and wide-mouth opening for scooping and pouring water, which can also be handy to help clean your baby.
Buy now £13.99, Mamas & Papas
Matchstick Monkey WHITE BATHTIME SLIDE SET
The Matchstick Monkey slide set is a great-looking bath toy that is also educational as it encourages hand-eye coordination. The slide sticks to the side of your bath, and then your child must put one of three easy-to-grip floating rocks at the top of the slide and let them tumble down into the bath. Hours of fun.
Buy now £14.99, Amazon
12 to 24 months
Nuby Octopus Floating Bath Toy
This toy is essentially bath time hoopla that is octopus themed. The brightly-coloured creature floats and the challenge is to get one of three hoops onto its tentacles. The game will help improve hand-eye coordination - and works equally as well in an outdoor setting such as a paddling pool or swimming pool.
Buy now £8.25, Amazon
Hanmulee Baby Bath Toys Bubble Machine
Children love bubbles. And while there’s bound to be a few stray bubbles created during bath time, why not go the whole hog and turn it into a bubble party? This machine sticks to the side of your bath or bathroom wall and with the flick of a switch fires out bubbles. There is also a musical setting. Can be topped up with usual bath soap for ease.
Buy now £16.99, Amazon
Infantino Sensory Plug & Play Plumber Toy
This robot toy is something a bit different for the bath. It comes in 16, easy to clean pieces that a child can build together however they please and then stick to the bath tub or wall. Then, when they or an adult pours water through the top piece, the toy will interact, move and change with the flow of the water. A very clever and engaging toy.
Buy now £15.99, Amazon
24 months plus
FLOWER & VEG PATCH BATH SHAPES
Foam pieces are great bath toys as they are versatile and educational. With this set, your little one will love looking at all the different flowers and veggies while playing with them as they float in the bath around them. When wet, they will stick to the side of the bath or the wall. The set comes with a net bag to store them in.
Buy now £13.50, Jojo Maman Bebe
kitpas Bath Set With Sponge
Don’t be horrified at the idea of letting your child loose with crayons in the bath! These are specially designed to wipe off easily with the sponge included in the set meaning no lasting damage to your lovely bathroom. The crayons float, so you won’t be trying to find them at the bottom of the bath and come in a case for safe keeping when not in use.
Buy now £25.00, Kidly
Janod Bath Explorers Map
This is a really cool - and actually very nice-looking- bath toy. The 28-piece foam puzzle makes up a map of the world, illustrated with figures, people and creatures in each continent. The pieces stick to the wall when wet, so children can spend as long as they please working out how the puzzle goes together, while talking about the world and those who live in it. The map comes with a storage net as well.
Buy now £14.00, Kidly