Toddlers are best known for their negativity. Their favourite word is “no”. However, this should never be taken as their way of challenging your authority. It simply is a manifestation of their many frustrations stemming from their inability to express what they really have in mind. Unfortunately, this seeming negativism can extend well into their activities of daily living. And one of the daily activities that are proving to be a major challenge for mums with feisty toddlers is bath time. We all know that bath time should always be fun and relaxing for both toddlers and their mums. If you’re struggling with your little tyke getting him or her to the tub, here are some tips for you.
- Give them some degree of control in their bath time activities.
One of the greatest frustrations of toddlers is their perception of lack of control over certain situations. For instance, many parents simply shove to their kids what they think is best for them. This lack of choice makes toddlers easily get frustrated. Make sure to give them a choice if you want to encourage them to have fun during bath time. To help you with this, you will need to bring out all of his or her favourite bath time toys. You can then ask him or her to pick out 3 or 5, but not more, of his or her toys to bring to the bath tub. This way, you are showing your tot that you respect his or her need for choice and that he or she has control (to some degree) over what he or she can bring and play with in the tub.
- Get creative; play with colours.
Toddlers are fascinated with colours. This is a carryover from their sensory stimulation days of infancy. There are certain bath toys and accessories that are made of water-based pigments which your kid can use to change the colour of the water in the bathtub. He or she can also start painting the bathroom tiles as well as the different fixtures in your bathroom. Your child can experiment with colours by mixing two or three colours. This way, you are encouraging him or her to be as creative as possible. This also addresses your child’s need for autonomy. Don’t worry about the pigments as these can be easily washed off with a simple dousing of water. My Kid Needs That provides a great range and some fantastic ideas for toys and learning aids for toddlers.
- Play mini boat races.
If your kid has mini boats or ships, you can challenge him or her to a race. Starting on one end of the bathtub, you will be racing your boats towards the other end. If you don’t have mini boats, you can improvise. Plastic balls, as well as other toys that float, can also be used for this purpose. You can also use empty plastic bottles to see who gets to the finish line first. Just make sure to give your child an opportunity to win every time.
- Storytelling is not just for bedtime.
Children love to hear stories. Unfortunately, many of us equate storytelling to bedtime activities as well as during downtimes. The fact is, you can actually read to your child anytime, even while in the tub. You have to choose a more appropriate story to tell, though. For instance, you can tell a story about animals that are taking a bath or even a mother duck and her dozen ducklings swimming in a pond. To add realism to your storytelling, be ready with the props.
There are plenty of ways you can do to make bathtime more fun for your toddler. What’s important is to give him or her a choice and to actively engage your child in the activities that you want him or her to enjoy in the bathtub.