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Rub A Dub Dub, Fun in the Tub

Rub-A-Dub-Dub, Fun in the Tub

Some kids love taking baths, and for others bath time can be a major struggle. Here are some ideas for making this time fun for the kids, easier on you, and a great opportunity to do “get messy” while getting clean.


  • Glow sticks. Hand out glow sticks, glow bracelets, glow wands—one per child or a tub full of them—then turn out the lights for brilliant fun before scrub-a-dub time (with the lights on, of course).
  • Shaving cream. One can of shaving cream goes a long way toward a good time. Spray it on the kiddo yourself, or let him use the can to spray himself, the tub, the walls and more. Just be sure to keep it out of their eyes and yours.
  • Shaving cream, part II. Color the shaving cream for tub-time painting. Using a muffin tin, fill each cup with shaving cream, add drops of food coloring, and stir. Q-tips make great paintbrushes for multi-colored masterpieces. One warning: Test the colored shaving cream on your tub beforehand to ensure that your tub (and walls) won’t be permanently colored.
  • Icy treasure find. Place small toys, coins, marbles and more in paper cups filled with water and freeze them. Plop them in the tub with bathing kids and let them watch in wonder as the warm bath water melts the ice to reveal the hidden treasures inside.
  • More paint. Pull out the muffin tin again for this one. In a bowl, mix one cup of baby body wash and four tablespoons of corn starch. Divide the mixture between the muffin cups and add one small drop of food coloring per cup for a rainbow of colors that paint and clean (and don’t stain tubs or bodies).
  • Bubbles. Not the bubble bath kind, but the bottles of bubbles that come with a wand. Little ones will get a thrill out of trying to catch bubbles as you blow them over the tub, and older kids can blow the bubbles themselves.
  • Shapes galore. Pick up a bucket of pre-cut foam shapes from the craft store and use them in the bathtub. They float, they stick to the tub wall (and real wall), and they keep kiddos busy while you lather, rinse, and repeat.
  • Have a ball. Toss in a pile of plastic play-pit balls for an unforgettable time in the tub.
  • Buy some fun. A stroll down a store’s toy aisle will score you everything from bath tub crayons to goop and more that keep children contained and clean for the all-important wash up.
  • Keep it simple. Of course, don’t forget the simple pleasure kids find in filling up and dumping out cupfuls of water.  A variety of plastic glasses, measuring cups, and small bowls can be found right in your kitchen. Sometimes the simplest diversions prove to be the most fun!


Lisa Carpenter is a writer and blogger specializing in topics related to grandparenting and parenting adult children. She publishes the Grandma’s Briefs website and can be followed on Twitter and Facebook.

Christine Crosby

About the author

Christine is the co-founder and editorial director for GRAND Magazine. She is the grandmother of five and great-grandmom (aka Grandmere) to one. She makes her home in St. Petersburg, Florida.

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