By Kathryn Peck
As a mom of 4, I’ve logged in countless hours tub-side while my little ones bathed. And maybe it’s because my son’s first word was “bubble,” but Hape Toys’ Bubble Whale comes in super high on my list of favorite bath toys. When filled with liquid soap or bubble bath, this adorable little whale spouts lots of fun bubbles from its blowhole.
If you’re looking to up kickstart your bath-time routine, here’s a rundown of the best bath toys (according to his mom of 4).
Hape Toys Bubble Blowing Whale, 18+ months. This jolly whale just loves blowing bubbles! Fill his spout with 3-5 drops of bubble bath or liquid soap and lower him into the bath.
Oli & Carol Origami Boats, 0+ months. These 100% natural rubber boats are great fun in the bath (great teethers, too). Best part of all, though, is that they are made all in one piece, no holes, so there’s no funky mildew or bacterial growth inside.
Manhattan Toy Floating Fill 'N Spill Crab, 6+ months. This super cute Neoprene 5-piece set comes with its own storage container – the crab! Marine animal friends inside include an octopus, a blue and a pink fish, and a starfish.
Skip Hop Narwhal Ring Toss, 12+ months. Skip Hop’s adorable narwhal is all set for a game of bath-tub catch with your little one. Just toss the rings onto its horn and score! The set includes 3 rings, and all the pieces float in water.
Elegant Baby Garden Party Bath Squirtie Set, 6+ months. Bath squirties are sort of a mainstay in children’s baths. Like all squirties, they float and squirt water. But these little ones make our list because they’re just so darn cute.
Bath Time with Aquaman Bath Book, 12+ months. This adorable 8-page waterproof book features none other than Aquaman, the ultimate water-loving superhero. Read about how Aquaman can breathe underwater, communicate with animals, and keep people safe in this soft, sturdy little book.
Fat Brain Toys Waddle Bobbers Bath Toy, 12+ months. This is also a favorite in our house. Stack them, float them, or send these six little penguin cups down the slide! The slide sticks onto the surface of your tub and the little penguin cups are weighted at the bottom so they can easily wobble, stack, or float.
Hape Toys Pop-Up Teddy Shower Buddy, 12+ months. There are lots of shower toys out there, but this one takes the cake. Why? It holds more water and the shower is longer and consistent. The little bear pops up and down, too, which is a cute touch.
Green Toys Tugboat, 6+ months. You’ve got to have boats in the tub, and Green Toy’s tugboat is fun and durable, plus it’s made from 100% recycled plastic milk containers. Little ones can scoop and pour water from the front of this little tugboat.
Mushie Stacking Cups, 0+ months. Another mainstay in bathtubs are cubs of all sizes for scooping, stacking, filling, and pouring. Mushie’s set of 8 little cups are perfect for all these bathtime tasks. Note, there are holes in the bottoms of these cups for water to trickle out.
How to Keep Bath Toys Clean
After a few baths, you'll notice your bath squirties might start to seem dirty, even on the inside. Here are 5 tips on keeping your bath toys mold, mildew, and bacteria free.
- Use diluted bleach at a 1:10 ratio (1 parts bleach, 10 parts water). Be sure to fully rinse after cleaning, however.
- Bleach might be a little harsh for some. If so, try using undiluted vinegar instead.
- Run bath toys through your dishwasher on the hot cycle for a hands-off clean.
- Boil bath toys in hot water. After soaking in the hot water for a few minutes, toys should be clean inside and out.
- Use disinfectant wipes. While it won’t clean out the inside of toys, keeping them by the tub for a quick wipe after baths will help keep the outside of bath toys clean.
About the author: Kathryn is the owner of Bicycle Pie and mom of 4 little ones. Also a writer, editor, and former owner of one of Boston's premiere baby boutiques, she continues to write about motherhood, children's products, family life, and all other things that test our skills and patience as parents.
Photo credit: iStock.com/freemixer