Bath time is more than just a way to wipe away the boogers and playground dirt. When your child plays in the bath they are fine-tuning some major developmental skills and stimulating their imagination.

If you want to mix up the fun, skip the standard bath toys and check out these simple, minimal prep ideas for bath time play.

Foam Bath

Double the sensory experience and add some foam to the tub. Great bubble bath products will foam right up or you can use a kitchen mixer with your standard kids bath soap and add some colors to spruce it up!

Shaving cream can be a blast for kids… encouraging them to manipulate and mold it right in their hands as they build fine motor skills and their coordination - just make sure to keep it away from their eyes, as it could sting! We use a baking pan and fill it with shaving cream and trucks to entertain our little guy and keep the bathtub floor from getting too slippery.

Pom Pom Bath

Pom poms allow you to create a colorful tub scene for your little one without fear of a stain on your bathtub. Whether they have 5 or 100, pom poms make a bath more fun. Add a few cups, cylinder tubes or funnels and watch them play for hours. They do towel dry fairly easily and the water doesn’t ruin the pom poms so you can use them again and again.

Water Balloon Bath

Yup, you heard that right, water balloons in the bathtub. Think of how much fun your kids will have and how contained the water balloons will be. This is a serious win, win. They’ll bounce them, toss them, pop and squeeze them.

Guaranteed your kids will give a major thank you after this bath. And you’ll get to skip the water drenched and grass stained clothes!

Ice Bath

No, we aren’t suggesting you give your kids a freezing cold bath. Having a bucket of ice cubes to play with and watch dissolve will, however, make for quite a unique tub experience. The contrast of warm and cold will create a stimulating sensory experience and allow them to explore the magic of solids vs liquids. While simple to us, this is a fascinating concept for young children.

Search and Find Bath

This is another great option that takes no planning ahead but provides a good time. Grab a handful of bath friendly toys like plastic animals or figurines and throw them in with a whole bunch of bubbles. Watch your kids search for the items with their hands.

The younger the child, the fewer the bubbles needed because this concept of finding through touch is very new and stimulating for toddlers.

Bubble Wrap Bath

Up your bath bubble game with bubble wrap. This is a sensory tool that provides loads of entertainment, with or without water. Bubble wrap is a blast for all ages... it makes noise and it creates a pop that vibrates through hands or feet as it pops. Adding it to bath time is an easy and playful activity for your little ones. They can sit on it, kneel on it, roll cars or toys over it - you could even tape it up and let them pop it with their dripping little fingers.

Car Wash Bath

If you have a vehicle lover, grab a clean toothbrush or dish scrubber, a few favorite cars or trucks and a couple cloths. Little ones will be busy and happy as they clean their favorite toys at the same time as they get clean. You can extend the play time by letting them get the cars dirty first (depending on if you want some mud in your bathtub). This activity is also easy to do at the kitchen sink while they stand in a learning tower stool and move the cars from one side of the sink filled with soap to the other side for rinsing.

Embrace the splashing and shrieks and give the kids some extra time in the tub to play and learn. Maybe set a few extra towels aside but otherwise all these activities have a quick clean up time.

If you have any bath time ideas to share please do so!