The team in Bucks County created this amazing video of great activities you can do with stuff from around the house that is fun helps develop fine motor skills. In addition to the video is a list of great bath activities!
Here is a list of bath activities that you can do with your kids, to help them have some fun things to do while they are home.
-Stacy G., OT
1. You can let your child use a net to “fish for” toys in the tub. If you don’t have a net, you can substitute a colander. This can work on eye-hand coordination
2. Colanders can also be used as “rainfall” for sensory
“Painting” in the tub/shower: Your child can do finger painting or can use a variety of tools such as paintbrushes, sponges, cotton balls, etc. which can work on fine motor coordination. You can give your child the opportunity to engage in a variety of different sensory experiences, which can increase their sensory awareness, through painting with shaving cream (to which you can add food dye) or even making your own bath paint. For an even easier prep/clean up, you can let them “paint” with a paintbrush/sponge/cotton ball, just using water onto the tub/shower wall, or onto construction paper.
A. “Paint” the tub or shower walls by dipping a paintbrush into water
B. Paint the shower using shaving cream with food dye added to it
C. Cotton ball painting
D. Make bathtub paint
4. Transferring water from one container to another: You can use a variety of different tools to work on transferring water from one container to another, such as cups, spoons, pipettes, bowls, etc. This can work on grasping and pouring skills, which can help to improve overall upper extremity coordination.
5. Animal wash station/Car wash station: You can have your child squirt water from a spray bottle onto a toy animal/toy car, to work on their grip strength and you can also let them scrub animals/a toy car with a toothbrush to strengthen their hand muscles and work on their coordination.
Animal Wash Station
Car Wash Station
6. Bath time for doll: Giving your child the opportunity to give their doll a “bath” can help teach your child self-care skills as well as learning of body parts.
7. Making paper boats and floating them in the water: You can use the directions provided to create the paper boats. You can let your child help you make the boat, by giving them the opportunity to complete 1 simple step in the task at a time, as you model it for them (ex: “fold this part like this”). This can increase their ability to follow directions as well as their imitation skills.
Here are directions for making a paper boat:
8. Make Play-Doh soap!
This can be particularly motivating for children, especially those who don’t enjoy taking baths. Allowing a child to squeeze and pinch the play-doh soap can also work on hand strength and the development of more mature grasp patterns, such as key pinch grip, as well as pincer grasp.
The link below has the recipe for Play-Doh soap: https://sugarspiceandglitter.com/bath-time-play-dough/
9. Baby Bath squirt toys: These types of toys can work on hand strength and the development of grasping patterns as well.
10. You can make a Water Wall in various ways: You can use funnels, water bottles, or pool noodles. You can use other items too! Playing with a water wall can work on increasing pouring skills and will help to refine upper extremity coordination skills.
11. You can also use laundry baskets for water fun!
You can turn a laundry basket into a “boat” inside or outside the tub! (Of course, always supervise with each of these activities)