Splishing and splashing in the bath is fun. And it's a great way to spend some time together winding down at the end of the day. And because playing is learning for babies and children, bath time is a great way to continue their physical, cognitive and social development.
Baby bath toys are great for developing hand-eye coordination. It's trickier than you might think to reach through the water and grasp at moving rubber ducks or boats. Pouring water from one container to another builds dexterity and helps children gain an understanding of cause and effect.
As children grow and develop bath time can be a great way to introduce basic science concepts of buoyancy and volume. Figuring out why some things float and some things sink as they play. Looking at water displacement. And developing language and vocabulary with concepts such as full or empty, wet and dry.
It's amazing when you think about it how educational your nightly bath time ritual can be.
Our great range of bath toys all come from companies that are committed to looking after our planet as well as our children.
Plan Toys amazing bathtub toys are made from PlanWood. This versatile material is made from waste wood. And not just any waste wood, this is sawdust that was originally a by-product of the creation of their amazing wooden toys.
The sawdust is turned into toys via pressure moulding requiring a tiny amount of formaldehyde-free glue, and coloured using organic eco-friendly colourants. PlanWood is highly water resistant making it perfect for bath toys. Even the wood they use in the first place is sustainable. It all comes from dying rubber trees sourced within a 30km radius of the factory. These are trees used in the production of natural rubber that have reached the end of their useful life and would have been cut down anyway to make space for new trees.
Oli and Carol make 100% natural rubber toys that can be used for teething, playing or in the bath. Rubber trees are grown around the world in countries such as Sri Lanka, Thailand and India. The sap from the plant is the basic raw material in the production of natural rubber. To gather the sap an incision is made into the bark of a rubber tree called tapping. A cup is then used to collect it as it runs out.
The end result is a completely natural product that is then handcrafted and hand painted using food-safe natural dyes. Natural rubber is non-toxic and very hygienic. And unlike many plastic bath toys, they don't have holes in meaning there's no risk of water getting trapped inside and going mouldy. Great for the planet and your kids.
And Just B's colourful offerings are a little different from your average toys. Not just the way they look but also the fact that all their packaging is recyclable and much of it is already recycled. They make it as minimal as possible and often re-usable in its current form. And all their bath toys are phthalate and lead-free.
For fans of the humble rubber duck, every bath should have one, we stock the beautiful Oli and Carol Elvis duck. There are lots of different colours available. You could choose to match your bathroom decor or pick your child's favourite colour. There’s even a gold spotty one for those that love a bit of sparkle.
Also in the Oli and Carol range are beautiful Origami boats and lovely little cars. Because let’s face it cars are just as much fun in the water as they are on dry land. Their whole range is made using rubber from the Hevea Malaysian tree. They are completely BPA, PVC, phthalate and Nitrosamine free. They float and they are great to chew. Perfect for baby bath time fun.
Just like having a rubber duck, no bath time would be complete without a set of cups to fill and pour from. We love the Plan Toys fountain bowl set for something a little bit different. The three different sized bowls have different volumes and different numbers of holes. Perfect for experimenting with water flow and seeing which bowl will empty first. These are also great for playing outside in the summer with water or sand.
The Plan fishing boats with their cute animal characters are great for encouraging hand-eye coordination and fine motor development. You can blow them around the bath using the little sail. Or hone dexterity by taking the characters in and out without making the boat sink.
The activity boat is perfect for some bath time fishing fun and there's even a floating island. These sets are perfect to encourage pretend play. Children can use the little characters to create adventures as they dive in and out of the water. Plus there's a certain amount of skill involved to keep the island afloat. No big waves or your little turtle might end up in the water before he was planning to.
Don't worry though. There is always the Plan submarine. Ready to come to the rescue of anything that ends up on the bottom of the tub. Perfect for rescuing the sea life animals which can either float on the surface or sink to the bottom if you allow them to fill with water. Another great learning opportunity.
The just B wee B splashy set comes with different toys and a set of water sieves that stack nest. They have holes in making them ideal to begin teaching basic science concepts or provide a sensory experience for baby. This set comes in a handy bath toy storage tub making clean up easy too.
For slightly older children the Just B Fish and Splish will lead to hours of bath time adventures. This is a great set containing everything you could need. The fishing boat comes complete with a captain, life buoy, a fishing hook, four fish and a set of three stacking and pouring cups.
You even get a funky little octopus comb and a fishy nail brush to make the necessary evils of bath time a bit more fun. And again everything packs neatly away into the floating boat when it's time to get dry. Bath toy storage is important to ensure bath toys air dry properly, this, in turn, will help to reduce mould and mildew build up.
Bath time is also a great opportunity for sensory play in general. It’s a great opportunity to connect with your child and most kids love a good soak in a nice warm bath.
Here are some extra ideas to make bath time even more fun:
The rubber duck or rubber ducky toy as it is affectionately known is traditionally a yellow rubber duck with an orange beak, that floats on water. They were first created in the 1800's using vulcanised rubber that didn't float. as they were cast from solid rubber they were intended to be a chew toy.
By the 1940's the ducks had been made to float and were used in the bath. The popularity of the rubber ducky intensified when the television series Sesame Street released the song "rubber duckie" that Ernie sang to his favourite bath companion. In the song rubber duckie's Birthday was January 13th, therefore, this date is now regarded as national rubber ducky day.
In modern day, charities and groups regularly use the toys in a rubber duck race or rubber duck regatta to raise money. Racing ducks have a USB flash drive tracker implanted into them. Making it easy to track which one travels furthest or fastest. The Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman created the world's largest rubber duck sculpture which featured a giant rubber duck which was 46ft high and 55ft wide. It was even found that the ducks are imprintable so have been used for orphan ducklings to imprint on as they grow and learn to swim.
Natural rubber begins it's life on rubber plantations, although many different plants can be used the most popular is Hevea brasiliensis. In natural rubber production, the sap is collected then refined and made into a jelly before it is rolled flat and cut into rubber sheets. Another way to work with the sap is called vulcanising. The vulcanisation method of natural rubber production prevents polymer chains from moving so vulcanised rubber has a greater tensile strength. It is also more elasticated and reforms it's original state once it is let go.
Synthetic rubber is a man-made polymer that is created using a mixture of petroleum bi-products. Different types of synthetic rubber include Acrylic Rubber, Butadiene Rubber, Isoprene Rubber, Silicone Rubber and Styrene-Butadiene Rubber. The process used to create these are similar and use Petrochemical feedstocks with crude oil being the main raw material. This is then mixed with gases to become a dry rubber latex which is shipped to be formed into different products.
Although some products require the different chemical versions of synthetic rubber, our natural rubber toys ensure that your child won't come into contact with any harmful chemicals.
Although the properties of natural and synthetic rubber are similar, each can be better suited to particular jobs. Rubber degradation due to environmental factors such as heat and light can be worse in natural rubber but this is widely accepted as it's the only drawback. High abrasion resistance, tensile strength and other desirable physical properties of natural rubber mean it is well suited as a material for rubber bands, conveyor belts, shoe soles, toys and car tires. The exceptionally high water resistance of this material means it is perfect for the production of bathtub toys.