If you live in a Montessori home – or are planning on it – then you know that it’s best to make the most of every daily activity, even seemingly mundane ones like bath time. The Montessori Method teaches us that it’s vital to keep learning natural and open-ended. This means we’ll have to incorporate it into every activity as much as possible.
Just because bath time becomes a learning experience doesn’t mean it can’t be fun – in fact, it’s the opposite. As Montessori homes, we put thought into everything that we use at home. Bath toys are included in this. Like we rotate toys in the playroom or living room, so should we in the bathroom. This not only fosters curiosity and interest but also ensures that the toys will last for years.
Keep on reading to learn more about how to pick bath toys that will foster learning and discovery — even in the bathroom!
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Montessori Bath Toys Buying Guide
So how do we choose bath toys that are in accordance with the Montessori principles? It can be as simple as thinking about how we can make the most of the half-hour you and your kids spend bathing.
Choose things – yes, they don’t necessarily be categorized as “toys” – that work well with water in curious and fun ways. Good examples that come to mind include funnels, cups, sponges, and colanders. Think about objects that can either float on water or go under it, such as wooden boats or toy animals that resemble their real-life counterpart (fish, whales, hippos, etc.)
What to Look for When Choosing the Best Montessori Bath Toys
Here are some key factors to keep in mind when picking out bath toys for your kids.
Opportunity to Learn New Words
It’s a great chance to let your kids learn new words and sounds during bath time. This happens from your conversation with them, or between them and their environment. Ask your kids about what they’re doing, feeling, and experiencing.
Simple expressions such as “Is the water warm enough?” and “Let’s scrub your feet.” can give them the insight to learn new words and phrases based on context alone. And if they feel upset because they can’t express themselves, use sentences such as “Are you cold after you got out of the tub?” or “Wow, this is something new!”
Use the toys to encourage further conversation and teach them new words in the process.
A Treat for the Senses
As Dr. Maria Montessori taught us, sensorial learning is the best way for kids to experience and discover their world. Let your kids spend as much time as they want (and need) on this. Here’s a nice treat: if you notice your kid seeming calm and alert while in the tub, ask him or her to move their limbs and help them float.
This won’t just be something new for them to try, but can also have a nostalgic feeling of being inside your belly. It also promotes relaxation and teaches them to be aware of their body.
Toys can mimic this phenomenon, too, and teach them in the process.
Math in the Tub
Math? Yes, you read it right. Your kids can learn math in the tub. Introduce bath toys like stacking cups. Begin with a couple of cups. Ask your kids to pour water from one cup to the next. This is a great chance to teach them about quantities using new words, such as “half-full”, “empty”, and so on.
Besides fractions, you can also use bath time to learn to count. Lots of Montessori toys can make this fun and easy in endless ways. Use cups, toys, or even your kids’ fingers and toes to count. By offering different things to count, you are enforcing memory and learning about numbers especially if done regularly.
Learning About Self-Care
As much as it’s important to learn about math, science, and language, it’s also vital for kids to learn about practical skills. Self-care takes the top spot for this. Plus, when a child learns a new skill to look after themselves, their self-esteem gets a massive boost. Toddlers in particular love taking ownership of their bodies.
Give them washcloths and let them do the scrubbing during bath time. You can even make a game out of it. Identify messy areas and ask them if they can clean up these parts. “Can you scrub your knees?”
NOTE: Make sure that any self-care items you’re incorporating into your kids’ daily routines are not just Montessori-conducive but are also guaranteed safe! Check labels and reviews to ensure that there are no harmful chemicals, artificial fragrances and dyes, parabens, and other toxic materials present in the products.
Finally, a core teaching in Montessori education is promoting independence in children. That’s why most classrooms are minimally supervised. By fostering independence in the tiniest chores like bathing, getting dressed, and other self-care activities, they learn about collaboration and slowly take charge of their own body.
This means that the best bath toys for Montessori homes can come in all forms. Accessories, storage items, and even clothes can become your friend in the bathroom.
Product Reviews of The Best Montessori Bath Toys
This toy set is an ideal sensorial experience for your kids because it creates beats, music, and sounds. It can be used both in the bath or elsewhere. You get one xylophone, two shakers, and a rhythm toy.
- Kids will love to play with each musical toy separately as much as they will experimenting with them as an ensemble.
- The starfish shakers are easy to grasp and submerge underwater. Toddlers love dunking toys repeatedly in the tub, ensuring that this toy will provide endless fun.
- The xylophone is not just colorful, but also produces sounds that offer sensorial learning for your kids.
- The toys are well-made and don’t break even if kids bang one toy on another. Many parents say the entire set is basically toddler-proof.
- These can be played in and out of the water.
- No drawbacks were reported.
These animal-themed foam floaties can also stick to the sides of the bathtub and your sink. They can also stand up on their own, giving your kids several options for play.
- Babies and toddlers alike will love these wild animals. It’s a great opportunity to teach them about different animals and the sounds they make.
- These are depicted realistically and not cartoon-like, so your kids will learn about how animals really look like. Make every bath time a learning experience.
- They stick well to bathroom surfaces, so they can work on the tub, counters, and sink. Simply hang them to drain them after use.
- They are a great choice for imaginative play. See your kids’ creativity and curiosity work together as they play with each piece.
- No drawbacks mentioned by parents.
These bath toys are popular with many families, even those who don’t strictly follow Montessori guidelines. Your kids can play with them individually or together, as a chain where water can be poured through.
The purchase includes five pipes that suction onto the wall. Each pipe comes with its own function and unique shape.
- Kids love these pipes because they allow them to build and play with them whichever way they like.
- These are great options for promoting imagination and creativity during bath time.
- Some parents reported trouble with the strength of the suction. It has been pointed out, though, that the pipes can be rotated and twisted. Once in the ideal position, the suction should work fine.
This rain cloud toy comes with mixed reviews, not for its quality but for its price tag. There’s no question that it’s a smart bath toy that’s also visually pleasing for kids. It allows kids to realistically relive how rain works. Fill it with water and see the cloud rain down.
- Babies under age 1 as well as toddlers love this toy. It’s ideal for playing during bath time.
- A great way to enjoy this toy is by using the rain when rinsing the kids’ hair after shampooing. The kids will definitely enjoy it every single time!
- Many say it’s too expensive for quite a simple toy.
Another rain-themed bath toy, this one is getting praises because of its mold-resistant design. It’s a breeze for parents and a joy for kids during bath time. All your child needs to do is to submerge the toy underwater, fill it up, put the cover on, and release the hole in order to release and control the rainfall.
- Unlike most squirting bath toys, this one does not grow mold inside even with repeated exposure and use with water. It’s also very easy to clean. All you have to do is to open the cover after use, rinse them with tap water, shake the toy a little bit, and let them out to dry.
- Kids love to use these during bath time. They mimic rainfall well and are quite fun to rinse off any soap or shampoo on the body.
- Sometimes, it can be difficult to fill up the toy with water (compared to cheaper, softer squirting toys).
How can bath toys help with children’s learning?
One of the core principles from the Montessori Method is the belief that kids have an “absorbent mind”. This means that they possess the ability to learn all the time on their own, even with no formal instruction. This occurs primarily from birth to age six. This signifies that even when we don’t think it’s study time, kids are constantly learning, all the time – including during bath time!
This means that it’s important for us to integrate Montessori toys and activities in daily routines to respect our kids’ innate ability and need to learn and develop.
Can bath time foster independence and responsibility?
Watch your kids as they attempt to put the toys back into the toy rack, bin, or holder before they get out of the bath. Allow them to do so, and let them pull the drain plug to empty the tub as well. Take these small signs of their initiative to help out as demonstrations that your kids are practicing responsibility even at a young age. It’s not just about being good children – these tasks also bring satisfaction and joy to them!
Bath time and other activities that reoccur daily give your children the chance to come up with consistent opportunities to practice (and prove) their independence. This is fulfilling for them while also helping out parents, even in small ways!
It’s important to remember that having a Montessori home doesn’t always mean that you need to buy entirely new items for every room of the house. Sometimes, things we already have at our disposal – given they’re made of safe and non-toxic materials – are great for kids to experiment with and learn from.
The bathroom is one of the regularly used spaces by every member of the family, and bath time is part of your kids’ daily routines. This means it’s valuable to pay close attention to the toys and objects that your kids interact with during this time. As long as you are following the basic principles of Montessori education, you may not need to purchase too much stuff or perform too many tweaks in your home.
Your bathroom doesn’t have to be the fanciest or most personalized one. These toys highlighted above are examples that show that you can make any room a Montessori space for your kids. As long as your kids practice independence, learn on their own through play, and are unrestricted with their curiosity and discovery, then you’re doing a good job!
Do you have any of these toys in your bathroom? Which ones are your favorite?