We don’t say the word ‘bath’ in our household unless we mean it. Often, you will catch my husband and I spelling it out to each other over the head of our nosey toddler. Why you ask? Because as soon as Cassie hears the word, she runs to the tub and will scream the house down unless she is allowed in then and there. She just LOVES bathtime – and she has since she was a newborn.
Bath toys weren’t something I thought about before we had Cassie. I had everything else she needed: the perfect bathmilk carefully chosen, the pristine face washes ready to come out and the cute little bath towel to dry her afterwards. We went to my mum’s house one night when she as about six months old and she loved those stacking cups and pouring water over herself. I went straight out and bought some for our house. My mum wasn’t overly impressed with me, and kindly suggested I go find some other toys Cassie would like in the bath so that the toys mum has are special for Cassie when she comes over. I couldn’t disagree with my mum’s logic – there was no point us doubling up – so we decided to grow our collection.
With years of nannying behind me, I felt I had an advantage in the toy department. I had looked after kids of all ages, so had a good idea of what excited them and what they grew out of before it barely left the box. The first thing on my list was bath crayons. They really are the best thing ever. When do we ever let kids just go for gold and draw over everything and anything within their reach? This really is heaven for Cassie, and she is yet to tire of them. Every night there is a new creation scribbled across our tiles that she then helps me wipe away just as quickly.
Of course, I knew early on that part of what makes bath time so special is the splashing. If I let her, Cassie would splash until all the water was gone from the tub – and find it hilarious in the process. We have tried and tried to teach her ‘gentle’ splashes. On some nights it works, on other night’s we have to stand outside the firing zone and just watch. When I came across these octopus bath squirters I knew they would be a hit. It didn’t take Cassie long to work them out, and sure enough, our squirt fights are her favourite part about bathtime. She even laughs when the water hits her in the face and asks for “more”.
Most of all, what I love about bath toys is the way they inspire the imagination. I could watch Cassie for hours as she swims her rubber ducky along the water, bringing up the stacking cups and dunking them down again. I just wish I knew what was going on inside her head as she goes through the motions. Plus, the half an hour of peaceful play we have each night is a big bonus too.