The twins’ first winter was a doozy. The winter of 2010-2o11 dumped feet upon feet of snow onto our already snow-covered home. The twins were only three months old in December and there was really no way I could take them outside while Dean played. He really didn’t like to play on his own (he needed his mama to help him build forts: my speciality!). The first year of the twins’ life my husband worked an hour away and was gone 7am-7pm almost every day. The kids woke up around 7am and the babies were asleep by 7pm with Punkin following very close behind so often Christian would completely miss seeing the kids awake… which meant that mama was in charge of keeping the kids busy and happy all day every day! The following year was almost as bad because there was NO snow and since the girls enjoyed eating anything they could find (dirt, rocks, grass, more dirt) that going outside was exhausting for me (chasing two 18 month olds around a half-acre is not my idea of a good time). There were many days when I was at my wit’s end and the kids were climbing the walls. Amidst that chaos the fun-bath was born.
After naptime but before dinner was the hardest time of the day for me. I wanted to be cooking and preparing dinner but the kids had energy to burn after their naps and would literally be clawing at me, begging for attention. The purpose of a fun-bath was not to get them clean, that was a happy little side-effect, the real purpose was entertainment!!! When you can’t get outside but need something for the kids to do bath timeis a great idea! You don’t need much to make it exciting and fun but I’ve included a possible list of supplies and a bunch of fun-bath ideas!
Examples of fun-bath supplies:
Plastic cups (different sizes/shapes if possible)
Bubble bath soap
Empty shampoo bottles
Pirate coins (or other toys that will sink)
Hard plastic sea animals (or other figurines that will sink)
Play kitchen tools/food
Moving Water: Use funnels, tubes and bottles to move water around just like in “Pour, Dump, Repeat“. **Do not do this activity with bubbles (or a potential tub pooper) if your kids are likely to drink through the tubes. My girls weren’t ready for tubing because of their compulsive bath-water-drinking until their second birthday.
Treasure hunt: “bury” treasure under bubbles and have kids hunt for it.
Underwater Exploration: Hunt for animals deep under the sea (with or without bubbles).
Cooking: Use cooking utensils (whisks and spoons are great for this activity) and make imaginary food. This can be done with or without bubbles but whisking bubbles is especially fun!
Body Painting:Mix bubbles in a bucket and let kids pick up handfuls of bubbles to “paint” their bodies with.
**Modifications for infants**
It is hard to bathe an infant in a big tub while a toddler splashes along side. Add a second infant into the mix and it’s almost impossible!!! I had a couple different ways of dealing with this issue. First (and simplest), was to ask Punkin to wait until the girls were done with their bath. Most of the time he didn’t mind waiting, though he wouldn’t wait in the living room like I would have preferred, instead he would sit practically ON me in our tiny bathroom. The second thing I did was to get a small inflatable tub that the girls could sit in without tipping over immediately. On the days Punkin couldn’t wait for his own bath we just put about an inch or two of water in the big tub because I had to be able to lay the girls down on their backs. When they were sitting on their own I still used the inflatable tub because it kept them contained and I felt comfortable taking my hands off one of their slippery little bodies to attend to the other one! I did introduce floating bath toys at that point too.