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Does anyone feel like they have enough time? Between kids, work, keeping up with the house, grocery shopping, laundry, blogging, and maybe having some quality time with my husband every now and then, I feel like I have negative time. Until I invent a time machine or clone myself, I realized I needed to find ways to work more efficiently and make what I already do more productive. One area that was really easy to make more productive was my kids’ bath time.
Now, before everyone gets up in arms by that, let me establish a few ground rules.
- My kids still need to be supervised during bath time, but they’re old enough to sit up on their own and move around the bathtub without me holding on to them.
- I only do mindless activities that won’t distract me from watching them. I won’t pull out my phone and answer emails, pay bills, or do anything that requires any focus or thought.
- I chat and play with my kids the whole time. They’re still the focus during bath time, I just do other things as well.
Prepping for Bath Time Fun!
My kids and I love bath time. They love splashing in the water and I enjoy watching them play. I treasure our time talking, singing, and being silly. One thing that helps make bath time so fun is great bath toys. I try to incorporate learning experiences in most of our games, so the toys below all have an educational component to them.
Zig Zag Kid! Frog Bath Toy: My mom got this for my older son when he was about 18 months and it became a fast favorite. The kids pour water in the top of the frog’s head and it pours through the bowtie and gears, teaching cause and effect. The bright, colorful stacking cups are perfect for little hands to hold and develop hand-eye coordination. And it’s just a cute, fun toy.
Crayola Color Bath Dropz: My older boy loves these, and I use them to help him practice his color mixing skills. He gets to pick two colors to put in the bath, and then before he throws them in, he guesses what color they will make together.
3 Bees & Me Magnet Boat Set: This is a cute, sturdy boat set that’s good for younger toddlers. My nearly two year old is learning his colors so I ask him to show me the red boat, for example. When he’s ready to learn his numbers, these will be good for that as well.
Don’t feel like buying new toys? No problem! Any plastic or metal measuring cups, bowls, cups, or measuring spoons will work. Kids love pouring water from one cup to another, stacking bowls, and just experimenting with water. It’s such a different sensory environment that kids don’t really need a lot of stimulus to have fun in the bath.
Actually, full disclosure, my kids’ favorite bath “toy” right now is an old shampoo bottle. We’ve had great fun filling the bottle and squeezing it to see how high we can get the water to shoot out. Both of them like filling it and pouring it out again. And with my older son, we’ve been able to discuss how water can push air out of a bottle, which causes bubbles. First physics lesson!
Now that they’re ready for fun, it’s time to get down to business!
Get Sparkling Clean
After scrubbing down the kids, I turn my sights to the rest of the bathroom. Make sure you have all of your cleaning supplies with you so you can stay with the kids while they splash around. I avoid using any bleach-based cleaners while the kids are bathing. I just wipe the sink and toilet down and clean the mirror. Sometimes I get a wet rag and wash down the walls and baseboards quickly. I might sweep up if my broom is handy, or clean the windows. I also refill the soap container if needed and tidy up the cabinets. Again, I’m paying attention to the kids the entire time. I’m just using their play time to touch up the bathroom a bit.
Who Needs a Gym?
Another thing I often do while my kids bathe is exercise. Now of course I’m somewhat limited by what I can do in the bathroom. Cardio is pretty much out, but bath time is a great time to stretch. I sit on the floor and chat with them while touching my toes, doing back twists, and neck rolls. I will also do push ups against the bath tub, having my kids count how many I can do. My older son was very interested by this and now likes to do push ups with me outside of bath time!
Did you know your own body can be your fitness equipment? Check out these resistance exercises for more inspiration to make bath time fitness time!
Tackle the Never-Ending Chore
Raise your hand if you ever feel like you have a handle on the laundry. Any one? Definitely not me. Before bath time, grab a basket of laundry that needs to be folded. Towels are a good choice if you store them in the same bathroom. Then you can fold them and put them away during bath time. One more load down! Kids’ clothes are good too. As they’re getting into pajamas, you can put some of their clothes away. Or even better, have them help!
Bath Time: Fun Time and Time to Get Things Done!
I hope I’ve given you some ideas on how to make bath time more productive. I always find that even tackling one chore can help reduce my stress. But remember, kids should always be the focus of bath time. If you opt to try something on this list during their baths, make sure you’re still playing and talking with them. If you find yourself getting distracted, stop what you’re doing, and start splashing with the kids.