Chloe, blogger at Life Unexpected, and her daughter Evie help Learning Resources celebrate International Bath Day.
Did you know that it’s International Bath Day on June 14th? What better way to celebrate than letting your kids splash in the bath with some super fun, but educational bath toys!
All three of these bath toys are part of the Bright Basics™ range by Educational Insights. The range was created to inspire your little ones to play and learn as they grow. All three of them are not only super fun and will be loved by kids aged 2 – 5, but they’ll help your kids to develop some key developmental skills through play.
The first bath toy I’m going to share with you is the Bright Basics™ Slide & Splash Spouts toy. This toy is suitable for ages 2 – 5 and I personally love that it’s a toy that can grow with your child and that can be played with in so many different ways as they get older. The Bright Basics™ Slide & Splash Spouts come with:
- Two elbow pipes
- A straight pipe
- A spinning faucet
- A sprinkle cloud bin
- A sun-themed pouring cup
- An ‘Itsy Bitsy Spider’ themed ball
- Parent Activity Guide
How To Play
The Bright Basics™ Slide & Splash Spouts toy is such an amazing tool for using with little minds because there are so many teaching opportunities. Firstly, you can build it together!
The Bright Basics™ Slide and Splash Spouts comes with three colourful pipes, two of which are different sizes. Each of the pipes come with suction cups so that you can stick them to the bath. This makes it super easy for kids to slide the pieces around, so that they can build themselves a route.
Evie loved becoming a little engineer and had lots of fun designing different routes with the pipes. The idea is to set up a route that allows the ‘Itsy Bitsy’ spider ball to run through the pipes and the spinning faucet, all the way to the end. You can encourage its movement by pouring water through the pipes using the sun cup.
I really enjoyed watching Evie experiment, make predictions and learn all about trial and error with this toy. Just by playing with this toy she’s already building on her early maths and science skills without even realising it!
The first time we played with it, we planned and designed a route together. We planned where each pipe would go and then we watched which way the water flowed to try to work out how to get the ball through all of the pipes and if we needed to make changes. Evie found it so tricky at first but seeing her think, experiment and put together the puzzle was a lot of fun to see. This was also amazing for encouraging discussion, developing fine motor skills and for recognising cause and effect. After the first go, Evie wanted to try building several different routes by herself and she did so well.
Another fun way you can play with this is toy is by playing a ‘Sense It’ game. This particular game is great for very younger kids as you can use the sprinkler cup to pour the water onto your child’s hands. They can then try and catch the water. As Evie is older we used both a pipe and the sprinkler cup to pour water onto her hands. I then asked Evie to talk about the differences in feeling, which encouraged a lot of discussion. I also loved using the sprinkler cup to talk to Evie about rain and how the water collects in clouds and then sprinkles down on us. She then used this idea to make it rain down the pipes on the spider ball.
This encouraged another way to play with the Bright Basics™ Slide & Splash Spouts toy; singing. This is also a game that is encouraged in the toys main activity guide.
The Itsy Bitsy Spider ball that comes with the Bright Basics™ Slide & Splash Spouts toy, has been cleverly named after the famous nursery rhyme. During one of our play sessions I started singing the nursery rhyme and as I did I tried to push the ball back up one of the spouts.
Evie grinned and instantly took over and role played the song with the Itsy Bitsy Spider ball. She made him climb up the pipe and then when he reached the top, she filled the rain cloud with water. She then used the rain cloud to pour water down the pipes so that it would push the ‘Itsy Bitsy’ spider ball back out again. Then she picked up the sun cup to ‘dry up all the rain’ and pushed the spider ball all the way back up to the top again.
For smaller children, singing the nursery rhyme will help to encourage their listening skills and language development. It’s also such a fun way of learning with this toy.
Once you’ve finished play time, the Bright Basics™ Slide & Splash Spouts can be tidied away into a mesh bag which comes in to the box. This can then be hung to dry when it’s not in use.
The second bath toy I’m going to share with you is the Bright Basics™ Bath Blocks. These are also suitable for ages 2 – 5 and again there are so many learning points for little minds. The Bright Basics™ Bath Blocks come with:
- 15 floating sandcastle bath blocks
- 4 floating sea creature friends
- A floating foam base
- Parent Activity Guide
How To Play
Just like the previous toy, there are several ways to play with these bath blocks. Evie is 4 years old and currently she is a mini builder. She loves constructing things so straight away she started to play with this toy by building it.
The Bright Basics™ Bath Blocks comes with a large floating base and lots of bricks and accessories that can be stacked and built on top the floating the base. The idea is to make a giant floating sandcastle.
For early learners and younger children, they can start off playing with this through balancing and stacking. Why not build a huge tower with the bricks so that your child can see what happens? Then you can knock it down so that your child learns cause and effect, before you build it back up again. This will help them to develop sensory awareness and fine motor skills as they try and balance the blocks on top of one another.
As Evie is a little bit older, for her it was all about working out where the different parts could go, so that she could complete the sandcastle.
The bath blocks also come with four sea creatures; a seal, a whale, a dolphin and a turtle. As soon as Evie finished building the castle, the imaginative play began and for the past few bath sessions Evie has been turning the castle into a home for the four sea creatures, who she makes interact with each other. I also used this toy to introduce Evie to a new nursery rhyme that we haven’t sung to her before.
One thing I love, is that Bright Basics™ team include an activity guide in each toy pack, so that you get inspiration of things you can do with your child. One thing they encourage with each toy is learning through singing.
Singing helps with listening skills and the repetition in songs such as ‘nursery rhymes’, really helps to support early language development. The song they recommend singing for this toy is the “She Sells Seashells by the Seashore” nursery rhyme. After I sang this song to Evie, she was inspired to turn the castle into a ‘shell shop’, where the creatures would come in to buy shells from the turtle who was chief shell collector. She would re-sing the song as each animal swam around the bath and up to the front door of the castle.
The final toy we were sent to review is called the Bright Basics™ 123 Tubbies. This bath toy is suitable for ages 3 – 5 and is a great bath toy for introducing shapes and numbers to small children. The Bright Basics™ 123 Tubbies comes with 26 individual puzzles.
- Twelve are number puzzles
- Eight are shape puzzles
- The remaining six pieces are for building structures
The pieces can either float in the water or they can stick to the side of the bath, or even your bathroom tiles, when wet.
How To Play
This toy is perfect for introducing counting and shapes to early learners. The chunky foam puzzles are easy to grab and easy for little hands to piece together. Again, like the previous two toys, there are several ways to play.
When I put all the numbers and shape puzzles in the bath, I made sure to take them apart first. Then I challenged Evie to piece them back together again. We started off with the numbers and she had to count each animal and then find the matching number to fit with it.
When she got the hang of it, we then used the numbers to make sums. I would pick up two different animal numbers and then I’d ask Evie what new number they would collectively make. For example, I’d pick up the ‘1 bee’ and the 2 birds’ and I asked Evie how many animals there were all together. She could then work out that 2 + 1 makes 3 and she’d find the ‘number 3’ to give to me.
For us, this is going to be the perfect bath time game for helping to get Evie ready for starting school in September. It’s also been great for helping her to recognise shapes and learn early geometry skills.
The second way you can play with this toy is by building with it. Using the shape pieces and the construction pieces, your child can you put together a building on your bathtub wall. This gave me the opportunity to discuss shapes a lot more with Evie as she built different structures on our the wall of our bath.
Every time she picked up a piece to add to her building, I asked her to tell me what makes each shape unique. For example; a square has four sides the same. I then encouraged her to discuss the difference between a square and rectangle. I loved hearing her thoughts on this.
If your child is a bit younger than Evie though, they can simply play with this toy by building different structures, which will help them to develop fine motor skills. You can then use this opportunity to help you to teach your child the name of shapes and to encourage shape recognition.
The final way we loved playing with this toy is by singing yet another new nursery rhyme. Singing is particularly good, especially for younger kids. This time the Bright Basics™ team encourage you to sing the ‘One, Two, Buckle My Shoe’ song. Singing this song helps to reinforce patterns and number recognition and generally makes play time with this bath toy a lot more fun.
Thank you so much to Learning Resources for sending us these three bath toys to review. My favourite thing about all three of these toys is that they all combine both learning and bath time fun. Evie didn’t feel like she was in a strict learning environment, yet at the same time, each time she plays with even one of these toys, she is learning life skills and is being encouraged to hit new milestones, which is fantastic preparation for school and beyond.
We can’t even pick a favourite out of all three of these bath time toys. All three of them are so unique, fun and educational and we will definitely be continuing to have fun with them over the next year and beyond.
To hear more from Life Unexpected, go to www.lifeunexpected.co.uk