Bath time fun for everyone

19 Nov 2018

Bath time fun  for everyone

Our friends at Plunket share tips for making bath time an enjoyable experience for children and parents. 

Bath time can be the best or worst part of the day for parents and children. Whether you've raced in the door from a busy day, or spent the day in quality play and then run out of gusto, bath time can seem like just one more chore to get through. It's also common for little ones to go through phases where bath time is a bit scary and unnerving and, like you,they get tired at the end of the day. Bath time gives you the opportunity to remove the day's grime while at the same time enhance your little one's happiness, learning, and curiosity.

Tell them what's happening 

The unknown can be scary for little ones; try giving a heads-up about what you're going to do next. Warn them when you're going to do things like pour water over their head. Demonstrating on a bath-safe doll can work well. Help your child to wash the doll or encourage them to show the doll how it's done. When you're rinsing their hair, help your child tilt their head back so the water runs down their back instead of over their face, and show the doll how clever they are. Take things slowly and give choices where you can, like the colour of face cloth to hold over their eyes.

Making the bath a fun place to be

Try to increase the fun by introducing new bath toys outside the tub. Let your child pick some bath-safe items from the kitchen like cups, colanders, and sieves, then play with them once they are in the bath. Another idea is to geta toy boat and play with it on dry land, then show children how much fun it is to float it in the water. Add a song or some silly (or soothing) sounds - think of all the made-for-the-tub tunes like "Splish, splash, I was taking a bath" or "Rubber ducky, you're the one". Make coloured ice cubes to put in the tub so your little one can play with them while they melt.

Keeping safe in the bath

Before you pop your child into the bath, check the water temperature is not too hot. Dip your elbow into the water for at least five seconds to check it is warm but not too hot (around body temperature).

Any time children are near water, there is a risk of drowning. A child can drown in as little as 4cm of water. The critical thing is never take your eyes off your children when they are around water. Distractions will occur - the phone ringing, the doorbell, other children demanding attention, forgetting to take everything you need into the bathroom - but don't be tempted, even for a second. Either ignore the distraction or grab a towel, wrap your child up, and take them with you!

Make the most of this enjoyable experience with your little ones. And remember, you can always hop in the bath and enjoy sharing the tub (and the fun) with your children ‒ while they'll still let you!


  • Always supervise children near water.
  • Keep young children within arm's reach.
  • Use a non-skid mat; children will feel more secure not slipping around in the tub.
  • Remove everything from the bath after use so water isn't trapped; a child can drown in even a small puddle.