Stress-Free Ways to Teach Independence at Bath Time
Bathtime can be a fun and educational experience for children of all ages. With the right tools and guidance, parents can help their kids learn how to become more independent throughout bath time. There are plenty of ways to make bath time both fun and productive. Let's explore some tips on how to encourage independence at bath time!
Being in the bath
Have them turn on the water, ensuring that the right tap is turned, or allow them to choose three or four toys to play with. Giving your little one a small responsibility makes them feel important.
When in the bath, your little one may want to try how to soap up the sponge or pour some lotion onto it too. Let your little one hear the words ‘more’ or ‘less’ as they squeeze the bottle, as this will also allow them to distinguish between quantities - perfect for early mathematical learning!
Ask questions such as ‘Can you wash your nose?’, as this will help them make connections between their body part and its name. You can always demonstrate this if they find it hard to identify it without a mirror and seeing themselves.
When your little one is out of the bath, hand them the towel!
Encourage them to hold the towel, and let them explore how to dry themselves.
Give your little one time to see how a dry towel becomes damp after use and their body becomes dry.
If you like, you can help your little one understand this by feeling the damp towel too.
Allow your little one to choose their clothes for bedtime or the daytime, depending on when bath time happens during the day.
Describe the clothes that they have chosen too, for example, “You chose the red striped top, you must love that top!”. This helps your little one develop and extend their vocabulary and language relating to colours and patterns.
As they are choosing which clothes to put on first, ask them questions such as “I wonder where your socks belong, do they go on your hands or your feet?”.
Asking silly questions like this provides your little one with a bit of fun and makes what could be a ‘chore’ into a more welcome task.
We Can Get Dressed: Putting on My Clothes, by Campbell Books and illustrated by Marion Cocklico, is a fun-filled novelty book with flaps and mechanisms, that assist Millie and Mo in choosing what to wear, learning how to put on their clothes, and helping to tidy up. Each page contains some really useful ideas for parents and carers that have been approved by The Good Play Guide and Dr Amanda Gummer, a leading Early Years Consultant. ‘We Can Get Dressed’ is a fantastic approach to teaching putting on clothes in a fun and realistic way!
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