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If you're a parent that just doesn't enjoy messy play in the house, you're not alone.
My husband despises sensory bins, water activities, and most craft projects :)
I don't mind this stuff but I totally get it.
It's not worth stressing yourself out to offer your child these types of activities.
One really great workaround is to do these activities outside or in the bath.
Adding a special activity to bath time can also get you through those hurdles when your child has suddenly decided they don't want to bathe anymore 😉
We've put together 10 Montessori bath activities that are great for fun, sensory exploration but keep the mess contained.
Pouring is a core Montessori activity for young children but it can get a little messy when your child is first practicing. If you want to avoid the clean up, you can do this activity in the bath or outside.
Just bring 2 stainless steel or plastic jugs in the bath so you don't have to worry about broken glass.
Other toys & tools that would also teach water transfer and develop fine motor skills are watering cans, eyedroppers, and funnels.
Add your bubble bath AFTER the tub is filled and the tap is off. Then use a whisk or your hands to make suds. This is a fun gross motor activity to help children understand cause and effect - I move and the bubbles form.
Bring dirty toys, a brush or sponge, and soap into the tub to get them clean. Most children enjoy the satisfaction of cleaning their toys and seeing the before and after.
This one will likely require you to fill the tub twice since the water will be all dirty after you wash the toys.
If you don't want to fill the tub twice, you can wash the toys in a small basin in the tub to contain the mess and then do bath time after.
Offer your child a washcloth and show them how to give their doll a bath.
This activity teaches self-care and it enriches vocabulary when they learn the different body parts. It can also be a helpful activity when expecting new sibling because your child can wash "their baby" alongside the new sibling.
Grab some washable paint and let your child paint the inside of the tub, either with paintbrushes or their fingers.
My children love doing this. It's such a fun sensory activity and you can practice clean up of the tub once you're all done.
Do a science experiment to test out different objects or toys to see which will they sink and which will float.
This is so easy and you can do it with virtually anything.
I do this all the time with my children. It's fun to do in the sink or a kiddie pool too.
Strengthen the hand by squeezing a big sponge, filling it with water, and then wringing it out again. You can add bubbles and they will get foamier as your child squeezes, teaching cause and effect.
You can also wash the walls with your foamy sponge, a great activity to do after painting the walls.
If you're reluctant to allow your toddler to use a spray bottle for window cleaning or they're just really enjoying that work, you can bring the spray bottle in the bath. They can spray themselves or spray the bathtub walls and squeegee them.
You can also colour the water in the spray bottle with some of colourful bath tablets for extra fun.
Add Duplo or a similar plastic block, like Plus Plus, to the bath for something different. All you have to do is spread them on a towel after to ensure they fully dry before putting them away.
If you have foam toys (shapes, letters, puzzles), they’ll stick to the walls when wet like the Foam Explorers Mat.
These are great because they don't take up a lot of space in your bathtub and they can be put away for a bit when your child gets bored of them.
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