Let toddlers play with toy tea set while in the water

We’ve still got a week or two of pool weather left here in Portland. But Rednexmama’s hack works just as well in the bathtub:

So, I’m sure this has been obvious to parents forever, but I felt like a genius realizing it! My daughter LOVES the toy tea set she received as a gift for her 2nd birthday, but we had to put it away since nearly every liquid she ever came in contact with would end up in the teapot and, subsequently, all over the floor, her room, the couch… you get the idea. She just couldn’t resist transfering her milk, or juice, or handsoap into the tiny cups, totally oblivious to the ensuing mayhem.

Once it was pool weather and I realized that I finally had a place where she could play with her tea set to her heart’s content, spill as much as she wanted, and she thought I was super-mom! Now that the pool has been tucked away, the tea set is moving to the bathtub and is living a happy life as a repurposed bath toy… great!

Related: Turn a large plastic storage container into a splashing pool


  1. rebecca says

    The tea set pictured is actually not a good choice to use in water. My inlaws have this se for the girls to play with at their house. It has batteries and makes noises. Batteries plus water do NOT equal safe water play!

  2. Ticia says

    That only works if your kids don’t plan on drinking the water. Mine like to pour it and then drink it, so we’ve come up with a couple of compromises that work for us:
    1. They clean up spills, since it’s mainly the 3 year olds, they’re able to get the worst of the water off the floor
    2. They sit on a towel, and it just all spills onto the towel.

    I finally had to buy a second tea set, so I had several available for everyone to pour, and I’m considering getting a third.

  3. linda says

    great idea! my kids were getting bored with the usual empty soap bottles and started bringing in other things like small plastic animals, swim goggles, and the travel-size aqua doodle sheets. this will be great for the next round of toys!

  4. linda says

    does anyone have a hack for providing a flat surface for kids to play on while in the tub? my kids use the edge of the tub, which of course means they spill water over the side when they pour and play. the inside of our bathtub is flat on the side and only has two small corners, which don’t hold anything. i tried stretching one of those “across the sink” strainers the tub but it didn’t work. (the strainer now holds all our tub toys in between baths.) any ideas out there?

  5. says

    This would work for my son as we have bath tea and bath soup at least once a week using Take and Toss bowls, and random emptied bottles, and plastic spoons.

    We’ve been doing this for a long time (he’s 26 months) so I Finally have him ‘trained’ to pretend drink and not really drink. “num num num” as the water pours out just next to our chins.

  6. rednexmama says

    Linda: I keep all of S’s bath toys in a plastic bin, you know with slots all over it. At bath time we dump the toys into the water, and flip the bin upside down to make a drainable “table” in the tub for her. Then when she’s done the toys go right back in, and everything drains off nicely. Just an idea.

  7. K says

    Linda, how about a plastic step stool? Maybe not the one right in front of the toilet, but maybe one that’s dedicated for “in-bathtub use”? That way it doesn’t get all dusty and dribbled-on with pee and then mixed in with the bathwater… (ewwwwww)