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Bath time tears? 3 activities to ease the bath battles

4 Feb 2014 – 10:00 AM EST

Bath time can be a time of stress in many households. It can usher in tears, tantrums and frustration — for kiddo and parent alike!

Why does a daily routine throw happy children into chaos? Well, there are several reasons. In most cases, they are playing happily, and getting cleaned up puts a halt to the fun. Your little one might be upset because he knows bedtime comes next. In other cases, the water itself could trigger sensory issues.

Here are three activities to make bath more fun and relaxing for everyone:

Pool noodle basketball

Turn pool noodles into a bathtub basketball hoop. Bend a noodle into a circle and tape the ends together with strong industrial tape. Tape one side of the hoop to your tub wall. Cut additional noodles into sections to use as balls. (You can pick up a variety of colors for cheap at your local dollar store.) Turn the fun into learning by having your child throw one color at a time.

Make your own bath paint

Use Kool-Aid and shaving cream to make fruity scented bath paint. Simply mix a packet of powder in your child’s favorite color or scent with a bowl of shaving cream. Let kids spread it around the bathtub and on their bodies with their hands or a paint brush. In my experience, it washes off easily without staining child or surfaces, but give it a test run before letting your tot loose with it if you’re concerned about stains.

Baby doll wash

Don’t fall for the power struggle. Toddlers and preschoolers are trying to assert independence. Give your child a responsibility. Have him give their favorite toys or dolls a bath to take the focus off getting clean himself. Pile your child’s “dirty” babies and toys in the tub with him. Let him suds up the items, rinse them, and towel them dry. Your child will get clean enough in the process.

Bath time struggles usually ease as children get older. Sticking to routines and trying new games and strategies to keep it fun will go a long way in getting you through tub time tantrums.