09 March 2008

Free bath toys await in your toybox, kitchen, and garage

The ever-resourceful Heather has a great bath toy hack:

New bath toys make bath time more fun for everyone, but how do you get them without spending a dime?  Look around your house and you'll be surprised by all the great "new" bath toys you'll find.

Ideal bath toys dry easily and are safe for your children to play with. The kitchen is a great place to start looking for colanders, measuring spoons and cups, turkey baster, and plastic dishes. Do you have small pool toys in your garage or outside? Bring them in for something new to play with in the tub.  The same toy in a new play setting will often yield unexpected delight and new imaginative play.  Have any baby toys your kids have outgrown (teethers, balls, and other plastic toys)?

Be sure to store those new bath toys in a breathable container so that they will dry thoroughly.  Look for a breathable container you already have like a plastic colander, plastic mesh bag, or a clothes hanger with clips.

Now you may have more bath toys then you know what to do with, so consider rotating them to keep bath time more interesting for you and your kids.

Our all-time favorite bath toy is the old, retired snot-sucker! -- Asha

Store small bath toys in suction cup shower baskets
Use a nasal aspirator in the bath as a baby shower

Your comments

Feed Follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

I discovered that the best things were simple sponges. My son went through a phase where he just did not want to get in the tub. He loves Blues Clues, so I bought a 4 pack of O-cello sponges in different colors, and cut three of them up into "paw prints" the other became my son's "note book". Worked like a charm. Now I just use the plain sponges and he pretends they are his Thomas trains. The best part is, I can use the ones that he's not playing with to clean him up, wash his hair, and soak up any water that splashes out of the tub.

The small lemon & lime shaped juice bottles are great in the tub. I take the stream restricting plug out so they can fill them easily.

I find our toddler likes Daddy in the bath best of all. (NOT in weird way, I would like to reassure everyone). But Daddy's great at blowing bubbles, splashing, silly faces and best of all raising the bath water level to just below chin level! My poor husband, if he even attempts a bath at the weekends, he will be joined by a stripping toddler within moments and bath time becomes the best playtime ever!

I am an OK second best to share a bath with...and then third are the toys, including a kitchen jug, tea strainer and toy watering can. And our favourite is also the snot sucker thing, which I could never bring myself to use for its designed purpose..gross.

We use McDonald's Happy Meal toys because my son loves the toys and I have no idea what else to do with them and because they float!

I gave up on buying bath toys a long time ago - no matter what you do they still get all moldy inside. I love the "anything around the house" version!

turkey baster is great! We used measuring cups - a little bit educational to learn proportions.

I love using all of those great stacking cups with holes in the bottom. They are super for sand castles as well! Never thought of using the snot sucker, but that's a good one! Thanks for the hack ideas!

Our son has terry finger puppets that he likes to play with in the bath but they end up moldy within a few weeks. I now put them in a mesh bag that I use to wash my cake decorating tips and run them through the dishwasher once a week. I then toss them in the dryer with the towels and they come out nice and fresh. If only I could figure out how to clean the squirt toys...

You know, for kids who love water and playing forever in the bath, I've given them a set of kitchen gadgets for their birthdays! I stick them all in one of those colanders that has a hook to hang it from the faucet and add lots of those things mentioned above. I've been told it's a present they play with forever! :D

Top bath toys right now:

- legos and lego people
- ice cube trays (freezing toys in small bowls makes for much fun as the ice melts and they can get to the toys)

- matchbox cars

I think almost every proper bath toy we've been given has either broken or not worked the way it should. Hear hear for using whatever you have in the house!

empty ketchup, mustard and grated parmesan cheese containers

Thanks for posting my hack! My boys love the "snot-sucker" too - and that is so strange because you would think they would hate it!

Our favorite is bubbles. Usually these are for outside only, but during bath time we let him blow all the bubbles he wants. He loves it and loves the way they stick to the bathtub.

The best toy ever for my 17 month old was stolen from his grandfather - it's a dollar store squirt bottle normally filled with just water and used to mist plants. He took it apart (no water in it at the time) and played with it for HOURS. Also fun in the bath!

We close comments after a month to guard against spam. Want to talk about this hack? Join us on Twitter and Facebook!


Free updates

  • Subscribers are my VIPs. My weekly newsletter includes a personal update, the latest from Parent Hacks, interesting links and news.

    Subscribers also get priority event invitations and occasional surprises via snail mail.

Asha's Book

  • At Amazon: Minimalist Parenting: Enjoy Modern Family Life More by Doing Less

    Find out why doing less is the key to resourceful, thriving kids, and a calmer, happier YOU.

    Minimalist Parenting is an encouraging roadmap for decluttering your schedule, your home, and your vision for family life. Reviewers call it "a much welcome alternative to the usual parenting advice."

    Learn More at Amazon

    Also available at Barnes & Noble or your favorite local bookstore.

New Book Coming Soon!

  • Coming soon: Parent Hacks Book

Start Amazon shopping here