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The Best Bath Toys for a Party in Your Tub

By Melissa Summers

This year we sort of “lied” to our 5 year old. We told him the new bathtub we installed wasn’t really very good for taking baths. The truth is we were tired of giving baths. That’s nothing though because my friend Leslie who has 4 kids ages 5 and under has been done with baths for about two years. Her youngest child is 22 months old. Life has to be efficient when you have four young kids and baths are not efficient.

On the other hand, when my kids were little bath time was a great way to burn off the end of the day witching hours. I’d fill the tub, grab all the laundry, a magazine and my laptop and get the kids in the tub. They were occupied and not fighting (mostly) and I was able to fold the laundry, read, catch up on email and sometimes I’d even grab a clorox wipe and clean the bathroom.
Now that I think about it, I might end up throwing my 8.5 year old and 6 year old in the tub by the end of the day because they’re making me insane and it’s only 7:34am. We’ll need toys, let’s look at those while I debate the wrongness of Spring Break.

I was prompted to start searching for bath toys when Isabel emailed me a few ideas she likes for bath tub fun from Alex Toys. I tried looking for other clever bath toys I thought looked fun and almost all the ones I found were from Alex. They’ve got a monopoly.

carwash.jpgI love this car wash, a crank moves your cars along the conveyor belt where they’re pushed through rollers, sprayed with water, soaped up and even run over with the “spider legs” as we call them. I’d like to see something similar as an outdoor toy, I know my son would like to wash his thousands of cars and perhaps this would burn some daylight during the summer.

fingerpaints.jpgWhen Isabel forwarded this fingerpaint set to me, the subject was, “I’m a mean mom. I only let my kid fingerpaint in the bathtub.” I thought to myself, “I’m a mean mom, I think fingerpainting is why God created preschool.” Because that’s the only place my kids ever fingerpainted. But the bathtub is the perfect place for fingerpainting, just hose everything down and you’re done.

rubadubshave.jpgMaybe you have a very virile child with excessive facial hair. This bathtub shaving set can help! My dad used to let my sister and I ‘shave’ while he did. We’d use his shaving cream and the plastic razors from our Play Doh barber set. For hours we’d do this and to this day I have a very smooth face. All that early shaving really paid off.
bubblebeater.jpgWe rarely had bubble baths in our house because they seemed to make my daughter’s skin itchy. Plus, I’m not that fun. Maybe you are fun and you would like to make the bubble bath even more entertaining. Show off. The Bubble Beater whips your bubbles into a froth. Literally.

rainbowstackercups.jpgWe got the most use out of a set of stacking cups in our tub. We used them for rinsing shampoo out of their hair, for having tea parties (no drinking the water…mostly) and for filling and dumping over and over and over. If you’re really good you could show your kid how the contents of one cup will fill a bigger cup half way. It’s practically home school!

rubberducky.jpgYou have to have a classic rubber ducky in your tub. It’s a law or at least an ordinance I think. It just floats, but maybe your child can shave it or jazz it up with those finger paints. At the very least tell them the story of the rubber ducks which fell off a ship headed from China to Seattle. The toys drifted from some point in the Pacific ocean, through the arctic and onto the Atlantic ocean. 11 years later washing up on shore in New England. That’s a children’s book waiting to happen.

Melissa Summers
About the Author

Melissa Summers

Melissa Summers was a regular contributor writing Melissa’s Buzz Off.


Melissa Summers was a regular contributor writing Melissa’s Buzz Off.

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  • Lisa

    April 12, 2007 at 12:24 pm

    Someone already made it into a children’s picture book 🙂 Here it is:
    10 Little Rubber Ducks by Eric Carle
    My mom got it for our DD when she was born!

  • dana

    April 12, 2007 at 12:39 pm

    Eric Carle made a story about the rubber ducks-
    10 Little Rubber Ducks. Cute!

  • pnutsmama

    April 12, 2007 at 2:29 pm

    we love the baby bath toys from Sassy- in fact, i love nearly all toys for babies from that company- bright colors, plastic and easily cleaned. we have for the tub squirty sea animals, foam letters and squeaky animals. also, i love those plastic puffy books for the tub- she can ‘read me a story’ while i wash her up and rinse her down. finally, i think Munchkin makes one of the cutest toddler tubs of all time- it is in the shape of a giant yellow duck and the beak quacks when you squeeze it. our friends have it for their girl and i am just about to make the jump for pnut- oh how i will miss standing at the sink!

  • pixie sticks

    April 12, 2007 at 3:00 pm

    my kids have lots of fun with these: (and bonus! I don’t hate looking at them).

  • Vikki

    April 12, 2007 at 9:27 pm

    We had to put a stop to the fingerpaints/bath crayons because we have an antique claw foot tub and that stuff didn’t come out too well.
    We are still using the same set of Sassy stacking cups that we bought in 2001. The cups are the only things that have been consistently used by our kids.

  • kelli

    April 12, 2007 at 10:19 pm

    We had a set of Alex bath crayons–they worked great on the tile, but stained the grout. They got used exactly once.

  • Melanie

    April 12, 2007 at 11:17 pm

    I love the car wash – we need one of those! We do a lot of Playmobil guys and their boats, and dinosaurs in the tub, but the very favoritest thing ever is food coloring. Seriously. I fill four cups with water and a few drops of color and he could stay in the tub for hours if II let him. The only bad thing is if all the colors go in, it looks like the bath water is contaminated with something that might kill you.

  • makakona

    April 15, 2007 at 9:15 pm

    yeah, we’ve also banned bath crayons for the grout problems. we like crayola bath tints, though. bath toys are my husband’s favorite thing to give/receive, so we usually have a good variety.
    i have three under 3.5 and bathtime is my sanity. if we’re washing for the sake of washing, then they get hosed down by the shower attachment. otherwise, they get to hang out as long as they want because it gives me extra time to get ready or to clean the bathroom, catch up on reading, and so on. we used to live in hawai’i and spent ages in the ocean and pool. when we first moved away, my kids spent hours in the tub each day. HOURS. it wasn’t uncommon to spend three, four, sometimes even five hours in the tub. i’d lean against the wall with a book or the laptop and get all sorts of “me” time with them right alongside. but now, unless we’re hurrying, an hour is standard. they LOVE it.

  • lizneust

    April 19, 2007 at 12:13 pm

    We were given the finger paints a few years ago, and I had to hide them from my daughter. They are REALLY gloppy and will discolor grout if you aren’t quick about rinsing it off. Plus, they don’t paint very well – they smear and drip. Would NOT buy again. Stacking cups and squirty toys are favorites in our house, as is my pumice stone. Toddlers are weird.

  • Emilee

    June 25, 2007 at 3:54 pm

    Hi,I’m looking for the antique toy boat that was propelled by the mixture of soda and vinegar. Anyone out there know the name and information on this fun boat for most boys..and girls? Thanks, Em.