Bath time is a great time to chat and get communication flowing with your toddler. Here are 15 ways to get chatting with your toddler at bath time!
Bath time is the only time in the day my 3-years-old sits still. Therefore it’s a great time to chat and get communication flowing. I have come up with 15 ideas on how we can support communication at bath time! So get the water on, throw in some bubbles, and get chatting!
1. Sing songs
Now is the best time to get singing, especially Row row row your boat! My new favorite version is “Row row row your boat gently in the bath if you see a rubber duck, don’t forget to laugh!” Music boosts language development, so don’t hold back with singing!
2. Ready, steady, splash!
Get ready to get wet! Support attention and listening by making them wait for “go!” and then having a big splash! Listening skills are a very important part of learning to speak.
3. Small world play
Introduce small world toys to the bath to create a new play experience, e.g., animals that need to learn to swim, cars that can now drive underwater, and LEGO men who want to sail in the boat. Narrate your story to teach story telling!
4. Unusual objects
Find some random and unusual objects from around your home that are new to your child and let them use bath time to explore them e.g., a kitchen whisk, bubble wrap, pompoms, kitchen foil, plastic cutlery, an empty flower pot. The surprise element will create opportunities for conversation.
5. Tea party
Bring in the cups and teapot and play a tea party! Pour “tea,” mix and stir, share the water, and take turns.
6. Blow bubbles
Whether it is adding a bubble bath or blowing bubbles from a pot, bubbles can be a great sensory activity that can also support breath and breath control awareness.
7. Add color
A little food coloring can go a long way! (although please check it won’t stain your bath first!) Add a few drops of color to make a simple bath an exciting, colorful adventure! Make it red for a “lava bath” or green to be an “alien bath” or pink to be a “unicorn bath!”
8. Explore temperature
Chat about “hot”, “cold”, “warm”, “freezing”, etc., when exploring temperature in the bath. With careful supervision, your child can use the taps to change the temperature while you model the vocabulary. If they aren’t big enough to use the tap safely, pour cups of different temperature water e.g., one cold and one warm for them to feel it, and then pour into their bath.
9. Explore size and capacity
Bring in containers like lunchboxes, water bottles, and cartons to explore capacity, pouring from one to another, filling and emptying. You can model and support vocabulary, such as fill, empty, half, full, pour, big, bigger, biggest, small, smaller, smallest, overflow, capacity, etc.
10. Speech sounds
Working on speech sounds can be tricky and dull! Bring practice to the bath e.g., pour water while making your “ssss” sound, splash while making your “d d d” sound, popping bubbles while making you “p p p” sound.
11. On and under the water
The concepts “on” and “under” can be easily explored in water by using toys and objects “on” and “under the water and modelling the vocabulary during play. It’s that simple!
12. Learn those verbs
E.g., splash, float, ripple, pour, drip, pop, etc. Bathtime can be active, so it’s a great time to model verbs related to the water.
13. Adjectives that describe water
E.g., hot, cold, wet, dry, slippery, sparkly, deep, shallow, etc. Model adjectives to describe the water, the feel of the soap, the smell of the bath bomb, the noise of the tap.
14. Body parts
The bath is a great way to highlight and name body parts e.g., legs, tummy, back, knees, arms, etc. You can model the body part as you wash it / dry it and see if your child can locate the different parts on request.
15. Chill and chat
Bath times can be a relaxing wind down at the end of a long day. You can explore how they are feeling and what they are thinking about. Just take a moment to sit down next to the bath, face-to-face, and create a moment of connection.
Snuggle after the bath and talk about what you were doing, and how good it feels to relax in the water. To get some extra practice, you can use speech learning apps, like the Speech Blubs app. They have awesome sections about Body Parts and Getting Dressed, which will give you plenty more conversation starters to work on those communication skills! Make sure to visit the Speech Blubs Blog, where you’ll find more ideas for speech development.
*This is a collaborative guest post.
About the author
El is a Children’s Speech and Language therapist from the UK. For the last 5 years, she has been working alongside children ages 0-16 in clinics and schools to get super talking started! She has joined the Blub Blub team to help cook up some creative communication content and activities. Fun fact: Her favorite game to play is “Hide the Spider”.
Bathtime is fun with most kids, they get to play at the bathtub with bubbles and their toys swimming around. It’s also a bonding time between their parents to talk about what they love to do and what they want to do
This brings back memories of my own kids as toddlers and how every opportunity was a learning moment. kids are simply amazing!
My kids always loved bathtime, and they spent so many hours in the bath! We would have tons of toys, play music, and it was such a fun time.
Aw I well remember the threes. They can be challenging years. These are great ideas to keep them busy and engaged.
These are such great ideas! I especially love the tea party idea! ❣️
Right now, all my son can do in the bath is splash around like a crazy! hahahaha! He loves the bath and water so so so much!
LOVE this post. I think it is so important to open communication dialogue as soon as possible. Great ideas x
I love the tip about the adjectives and getting the chat to be descriptive. What a great way to introduce new vocab words.
It’s fun to just play with them. Add bubble bath and also put some toys. It helps bond with children.
I always loved bath time at this age. I felt it was such good quality time because there were no other distractions.
Aww these are some lovely ideas of ways to get your kids talking and learning during bath time.
Great topics and ideas to keep bath time fun and engaging – thanks for the piece and I will share with my friends as well! – Knycx Journeying
These are all such fun ideas. I wish I would have thought of some of these when my kids were younger. What wonderful ideas!
A nice list of things to chat about during bath time. I can’t wait to have kids someday. 🙂
I love this!
Sent a link to your article to my sister who has a toddler, she will enjoy your article!
These are perfect ways to get your baby engaged and learning during bath time! Also probably makes it fun for you as the caretaker, too!
Your ideas are great and very educational. Thanks for sharing!
Bath time can be such a special bonding time with little ones. These are all great ways to connect.
This post brings back so many memories for me. I used to chatter all through bath time with all three of my kids. We loved it.
Hihi….I know just the day and time to practice some of these! Thank you for sharing them.
Aww… Bath time can be a great quality time between parents and toddlers. I can still remember those fun days. Thanks for sharieng this.
Love this! We used to do a lot of small world play when our daughter was a toddler at bath time – a really good time for exploring, communicating and teaching values also.
These are great tips. I used to love bath time with my kids.
One of our four year olds favorite things to do in the tub is to draw with bath crayons. It’s a great way to learn letters, numbers, and express artistic ability. 🙂
It is so nice to see you bonding and having such an educational time in the bath with your child. My kids are teenagers now so I miss those days.
I dont have kids but yea interaction with them in form is good. Your ways are great.
Aww these are great suggestions. Bath-time is a great way to play and chat and spend quality time together.
So many fun ideas for bath time. Its a great way for parents and toddler to enjoy every precious moment with laughter.
Great parenting tips. Best way to create bond with your kids. Splashes water together with your kids is so fun.
Bubbles really help! They love it. It’s more fun and it becomes a topic to discuss.
These tips will definitely make bath time with kids a lot more fun! It’ll also be an enjoyable playtime with them!
I think our daughter’s a mermaid. She loves the water. We never had an issue with her taking baths.
Great tips,I actually teach my nephew more while we’re taking a bath,cuz I noticed that he talks more when we are at the tub.
These were some of my favorite times with my kids. It is a great time to have fun with them.
These are great ideas to get young chilidren talking and listening. The more they talk and listen the more they can learn and develop.
why hadn’t i thought of playing a tea party in the bath? sounds like such fun.
I always do sing a song with my kids at the bathroom while dancing. Lol! Thanks for sharing your great ideas.
My kids always loved bath time. We had a huge jacuzzi tub in the master bath that they always commandeered. As long as they were clean, I was fine with them stealing my space!
This brings back fun memories of when my son was little. He loves water and loves to play with water.
I’m really lucky for my part my kids really like to take baths. But it’s true they really like colors bubbles toys it’s like a playtime for them.
My son currently does not talk but he LOVES bathtime, LOVES IT! Splashes around like a crazy boy, but it’s adorable!
These are great ideas! Mine are 5 and 3.5 and out of the toddler stage, so I am never short on conversation LOL. They never ever stop 🙂 “Mommy look. Mommy guess what? Mommy!”
There are some really good ideas here! I’m a first time mom and need all the resources I can get!
So many great ideas, these are awesome!
I love these ideas. Every activity is an opportunity for more interaction with kids, and bath time is such a peaceful time to connect.