May 17, 2023

Learning at Bath time!

Sophie Allen
Sophie Allen
Learning at Bath time!

Bad bath time experience? 

Yes, your little one might have had one of these in the past and now is not very keen on hopping into the bath now. This could be down to a few reasons:

  • The loud sound of the water filling the bath

  • It might have been too cold or too hot

  • A fear of going down the drain with the water

  • Had bubbles in their eyes

To encourage your little one to step back in, keep it short and sweet, and allow them to choose what to play with and for how long. Encourage pretend play and switch up the person who does the bath if you can! 

When your little one feels a bit more confident to take a bath, here are a few ideas as to how bath time and washing can support their key areas of development: 

Personal, Social and Emotional Development

As your little one begins to learn how to clean themselves, this can provide them with a positive sense of self and encourages a ‘can do attitude’. This greatly supports the development of their independence, as they begin to understand that they can achieve things by themselves with an adult to do things for them.

If your little one enjoys you washing them, you could always give them a toy doll or animal in the bath, and encourage them to clean their toy instead. Learning to look after other objects can support their personal, social and emotional development!

Physical Development 

Count your little one’s fingers, toes, arms and legs together! This will support their mathematical knowledge of numbers, counting in sequences and recognising fixed quantities, meaning that they will soon begin to associate the number name with the number of fixed objects e.g. their toes!

Your little one may begin to be reacting to the sensation of bubbles and the water on their skin. Try to use descriptive words during bath time play, such as “Can you feel the soft bubbles, pop, pop, popping on your skin?”, or “Is the water warm, or cold?”

Talk to your little one about hygiene and the importance of keeping clean. For example, you could say that if we don’t wash, we might get ill and then we will have to stay at home and not go and see our friends. Let them know that they can keep themselves clean throughout the day.

Communication and Language

Reading stories to your little one is a great way to extend their vocabulary, practice their listening and attention skills, and spend some quality time together!

When your little one hears you reading a story or just sharing general chit-chat, they will be learning new words and hearing the different tones in your voice.

Not only this but talking about how they can use their body to make things happen, like popping bath bubbles on top of the water or using their hands to make a big splash!


Ducky’s Bathtime by Lucy Cousins is a fantastic waterproof adventure! Join little Ducky and meet lots of different animal friends on the way. It really is the perfect book for your little one's bath time or high chair fun, and when you're on the move!

Ducky's Bathtime by Lucy Cousins


Join 1000's of families learning at home

Get 3 months of free access to our award-winning nursery education app.