The Baby Club – Episode 7
Playing with Bath Toys – Tips for your baby’s development
In each episode of The Baby Club we have a ‘What’s in the bag?’ section and in episode 7 we were playing with bath toys. When we were playing with them, you may not have been aware of how much thought had gone into why and how we used them. Also you might be interested to know how these items have inspired other parts of that specific episode. For that reason and to provide a little advice for parents new and more seasoned, I have written Nigel’s Baby Club Diaries. Hopefully they will help you see:-
- How important your interactions with very young children are.
- Why they can help with learning.
- Ideas for verbal interactions you can have with your baby.
- That you are not alone in your thoughts.
- That dad’s shouldn’t be embarrassed about getting involved too.
The information you will find here draws on Peeple’s Learning Together Programme. Peeple and the Foundation Years Trust charities were consultants on The Baby Club. As with anything regarding your baby, if you have any queries you should speak to your health visitor. They will be able to provide help and support with questions you may have.
Things you can do with bath toys?
During episode 7 we were playing with bath toys. You may have seen us stacking the bath toys, tapping the bath toys and using them in song. All of these help develop different aspects of your baby’s basic skills, and I will discuss these in a moment. But first I would like to give you a couple more ideas and things to look out for when you are trying this at home. These ideas are good as your baby gets older and you want to develop more complex skills.
- If you are playing with different types of bath toy, encourage your child to find specific ones. This is a great opportunity to develop language. Simple phrases such as ‘Can you see the duck?’, ‘Look at the blue boat’, are a good place to start. Don’t worry if your baby isn’t sure, just point to it yourself: ‘Here it is – here’s the duck!’. It will all help the learning process. And the more repetition, encouragement and smiles the more your baby will get involved and understand.
- Playing with bath toys is a great time to introduce an understanding of when something is wet or dry or warm. Water is fascinating for babies. Use that focus to teach them new things. Have fun with this and encourage your baby to play and have fun too.
- Use the bath toys during songs. In the show we sang ‘row row row your boat’ and did the actions to encourage movement.
What areas does this activity help with?
Nearly all activities are a good opportunity to develop language and understanding. This one is good for learning the words like ‘boat’ or ‘duck’. And if you are playing in water it’s ideal to learn words like ‘wet’ or ‘warm’.
Bath toys come in a multitude of shapes and sizes from round to square from smooth to ridged. Couple this with the fact that you may actually be playing using water and your baby has a sensory playground to explore.
Rhythm and Music Development
If you are singing songs with actions this will help develop an understanding of rhythm. Repetitive movements and responding to patterns in nursery rhymes or songs will help to reinforce this.
Songs and Nursery Rhymes
Songs and nursery rhymes are a huge part of The Baby Club and a fun way for babies and young children to learn. You’ll be surprised how well babies remember information that is delivered in a song. One of the obvious choices for nursery rhymes when playing with bath toys is ‘Row Row Row your Boat’. This a great one for getting moving with the rowing action. But there are alternatives including ‘Five Little Ducks’ and ‘Fish Alive’. With both of these suggestions make sure you emphasise the numbers as it’s a great opportunity to start building knowledge of how they sound even before your baby knows what they mean.
What other objects can I use?
Playing with a Stick
Playing with a Ball
Playing with Paper
Playing with Gloves
Playing with Leaves
Playing with a Saucepan
Playing with Cardboard Tubes
Playing with Ribbons
Playing with Socks
Want to learn more?
If you have found this helpful and want to find out more about supporting your child’s learning, please check out Peeple’s Facebook page. If you’re a practitioner, you can find out about the Peep Learning Together Programme and training on the Peeple website, or email Charlotte on firstname.lastname@example.org.