If your little one loves playing with water and you're stuck indoors, what's a good bad weather plan you can think of?
In the spirit of heuristic play (which is about repurposing items you already own), I would recommend this activity --
Toy Bath Sensory Play!
It's perfect for older babies and young toddlers.
What is a Toy Bath?
It is a sensory bin containing water and your child's favourite toys! Your little ones can learn concepts of material science through this simple activity, such as:
- which objects float or sink,
- which objects absorb or repel water
- which objects can be used as vessels to contain water
- how motion and sound is different with and without water
Benefits of a Toy Bath Sensory Play
For the little ones, they learn the following from this activity:
Cause and effect
Provide new sensorial experience
Improve fine motor skills
Enhance hand/eye coordination
For busy parents, this activity saves you from sanitising those toys for the week! 😂
How to create a Toy Bath Sensory Play
Pick toys from your child's play area and household items which are waterproof (or water-resistant). DUPLO Lego bricks and your child's dining utensils are great options.
Lay out a large absorbent bath towel or swaddle cloth on the floor
Fill a shallow pail with some water (optional: you could add some soap to form bubbles for additional fun)
Place the toys into the pail
You can choose to put a bib coverall apron or poncho onto your child to prevent her from getting too wet. Then initiate play!
What I picked for Gwen's Toy Bath Sensory Play
I wanted the items to be colourful, stimulating (with an element of novelty) so these are the objects I chose:
- DUPLO lego bricks
- Carrot teether
- Milk bottle teat
- Milk bottle lid
- Milk bottle
- Shape toys
- Snack cup
- Small lunch box compartment
- Cup lid
- Adult toothbrush (new)
- Kitchen scrub sponge (new)
How Gwen reacted to the Toy Bath Sensory Play
Gwen had a fun time touching and tasting all the objects in the toy bath and running her hands through the water. She did a bit of splashing just like she does in her baths, but mostly spent time taking the items in and out of the pails to make sense of the objects and how they behave in water.
It was fascinating to see her surprised reaction when she touched the bristles of the toothbrush and felt the rough side of the scrub sponge.
As she picked out the items, I sat by her side to explain concepts to her - whether the items floated or sank, whether they absorbed or repelled water, whether being in water muted the collision sound of toys against the pail. It doesn't matter that these science facts are way beyond her comprehension level, she listened intently and I'm sure she was processing that all objects have different properties!
Finally, I held the most fascinating item in the mix (the scrub sponge) in my hand and squeezed water out of it. The sight of water dripping from it made Gwen laugh. She took the scrub sponge from me and tried to imitate the squeezing action. It was a new and fun sensorial experience for her.
I hope this is a fun learning activity for your baby or toddler! Share your experience with me via Instagram Direct Chat at @miraculove_sg or Facebook Group.
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Hi! I am Yunnie. I am the newly minted mama to a little baby girl and a mum friend to everyone on this special (and many times scary) journey of motherhood. Also a graduated bride with a penchant for weddings.