Looking for some interactive, at-home activities to keep your kids busy during the wintertime? Look no further than your very own bathroom! I don't know about you, but having four kids cooped up inside on snowy, bone-chilling days can prove to be quite challenging. It can be difficult to entertain them simultaneously. Enter... the bathtub! We often forget about the self-contained mini-pool that is the bathtub. There are dozens of items around your home that you can pop in the bathtub for some awesome pastimes. So, throw the kids in their swimsuits, add a few of these ingenious activities to the tub, and let them run wild with their imagination all day long!
When immersed in water, glow sticks light up a whole bathroom and create an awesome galaxy bath. Kids can create make-believe trips to outer space or have a dance party right there in the tub! Turn those lights off, add some glow in the dark stars, and turn on some dance music; it'll be a party that's out of this world. To make it even more amazing, check out how to make your own DIY glow in the dark bubbles to add to the galaxy party!
As much as every child loves painting, most parents can't stand the mess. And understandably so! Rather than foregoing all child Picasso potentials, let them paint inside the bathtub for easy cleanup. Finger painting, paper painting, body painting and tub painting are all viable options! Kids are able to use the bathtub as their very own creative canvas. You can always use standard washable paints to make a masterpiece but feel free to experiment with things like jello, colored corn starch, dyed shaving cream, or even pureed fruits and veggies for an edible painting session! Check out Parenting Chaos to learn how to create your very own DIY bath paints!
For this activity, you probably have the main ingredient already lying around the bathroom -- shaving cream! Shaving cream can be used for drawing and writing in the tub -- not to mention, it's an amazing tool that the kids can use to practice their letters and numbers. Add food coloring, glitter, or whatever you have lying around, for even more fun. Get goofy by mixing in a couple of cans of Silly String that will add endless hilarity for the kids. It's incredibly difficult to get Silly String out of the carpet, so what better way to play with this mess than by popping it into the bathtub with the kids? Draw designs on the wall, have Silly String fights, or just make a big ol' mess that's just as easy to clean up as it is fantastic! Check out Simple Fun for Kids for more ideas!
It can be a chore to get your kids to wash behind their own ears, but when it comes to playing with mud and dirt, they're more than happy to wash up! Create some easy, yummy-smelling mud out of cocoa powder or chocolate pudding and let them have their own mud-pie indoors. They can splash through their own mud puddles, create car washes with sponges and brushes, and clean it all up in the end. Get tips on how to make your own DIY mud magic from The Imagination Tree.
If you've never played with water beads before, let me enlighten you: They're freaking fantastic! They come in a teeny-tiny package, but don't let that fool you. Once immersed in water, they grow to 100 times their original size! They're pleasantly slippery and squishy without being slimy and are a great textural activity to do with all kids! They can fill buckets with them, splash them around, put them through different sized sieves and generally have a blast! Don't forget, they are NOT edible. So, if you have a little one who is still popping things in his/her mouth, consider using tapioca pearls instead. This clever parent at Parenting Chaos has the low-down on all things water beads and great things to do with them!
Kids love playing with ice, but often it's just too cold to maintain as a long-term activity. However, when placed in the bathtub with a couple inches of warm water, it becomes an easy arctic wonderland. To do it yourself, take a sheet pan or cake pan of water and freeze some plastic animals in. Float the icebergs on a couple inches of lukewarm water and let the littles have fun chiseling their animals free with spoons, tongs, and other utensils. Use food dye to create a blue arctic feel and watch the water change colors as it melts away. Check out more amazing bathtub-friendly ice activities at Pocket of Pre-School.
All kids love a ball pit, and you can make your own at home! The tub makes for the perfect ball pit (especially with an enclosed shower!) for kids who love throwing, catching, jumping, and playing. If you're worried about them getting a little too rowdy and potentially hurting themselves on the tub spout, simply wrap a towel around the spigot with a rubber band to protect them from the sharper edges. And voila! Behold your perfect, kid-friendly pit! You can even add small items such as a clothespin, a feather, or a small bouncy ball for them to "hunt for" and create a hide-and-go-seek game looking for tiny items hidden within the balls. Get more inspiration and directions from A Thrifty Mom.
If you're like most families, you have more stuffed animals than you know what to do with. So, why not put them to good use? Gather them all up and play Noah's Ark! The tub can be the boat and all the animals can pop right in. We're all for getting in the tub with our furry friends and reading books and getting cozy! Get more ideas from Teaching Mama.
Looking for a way to entertain your kids AND simultaneously wash your dishes? What mom hasn't? Let them cook up their very own pretend feast. Pop some pots, pans, colanders, and various unbreakable dishes into the tub with a little dish soap and food coloring and let them "cook" up some of their favorite imaginary recipes. You could even let them make alphabet soup using letter magnets or foam alpha letters you may already have in your bathtime collection. After they're all done, run the bath with a little more soap and have them dry and put away. You'll never need your sink for dishes again! Learn more at Frogs and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails.