There really is no better place for babies and toddlers to play than the bath. It’s warm, it’s relaxing and it doesn’t make too much of a mess (sometimes.) It’s also the ideal place to experiment, and learn—especially with the addition of fun and engaging bath toys. As a mom of two, I realized early on that playtime and bathtime are not mutually exclusive and spent countless hours (especially in the cold, dark days of winter) pouring, scooping, and sudsing up right alongside my kiddos.

Over the years, I learned a thing or two about what makes bath tub toys worth buying. So, in the spirit of sparing you from my mistakes (bath crayons, I’m talking about you) I’ve rounded up some of the best available on the market today. To qualify, they had to be easy to clean with no holes for growing mold, visually appealing for both parents and kiddos, and provide age-appropriate opportunities to learn and explore.

Here are the best bath toys for babies and toddlers. Happy splashing!

Best bath toys for baby

Puj Phillup Rinse Cups

Püj

$28.99

Phillup Rinse Cups

Simple, useful and easy to keep out of the way when not in use, this set of cups comes with a set of sticky nubs that will adhere to most tub surfaces and remove cleanly when their time is up.

Munchkin Little Boat Train

Munchkin

$5.99

Little Boat Train

Perhaps the best bang for your buck on this entire list, this simple set of six colorful boats can attach together and float along, be used to scoop and pour and even come in handy for rinsing shampoo.

Oli and Carol Elvis the Duck

Oli & Carol

$15.99

Elvis the Duck

Turns out, you can improve on a classic. The eco-friendly rubber ducky from Oli & Carol is not only hand-crafted of 100% natural rubber from Malaysian Hevea trees (making it safe for little ones to chew on), but it’s designed without holes so no gross mold can thrive inside.

Easy Squeezies Bath Toys

Sassy

$9.99

Easy Squeezies Bath Toys

Bathtime is the perfect opportunity for STEM learning. These colorful toys are actually two interchangeable parts, allowing for different color and texture combos and stream patterns.

skip hop mix and match flippers bath toy

Skip Hop

$5.99

Mix and Match Flippers

Mericorn? Merfox? Let them decide. This pair of interchangeable pals can twist apart to exchange tails (which also makes them easy to keep clean!)

ubbi interchangeable critters

Ubbi

$7.49

Interchangeable Critters

Mix and match these colorful critters to discover multiple rain effects. They’re also dishwasher-safe!

Oli and Carol origami boat bath toy

Oli & Carol

$17.99

Origami Boat

Not only does this satisfy hip parent design sensibilities, but it’s also eco-friendly, non-toxic, hand-crafted and socially responsible (a portion of the proceeds goes to help fund the education of children in India.)

alex beep beep bath stickers

Alex

$16.99

Beep Beep Bath Stickers

Bath tub road trip? Little ones will love zooming colorful vehicles along the foam track which clings to the bathtub wall. And don’t worry! Clean up is easy with the included mesh bag that can be hung to dry.

munchkin caterpillar spillers

Munchkin

$5

Caterpillar Spillers

Stack, strain, pour and spin with these colorful cups from Munchkin. Each cup features a different pattern on the bottom to let water stream through and they conveniently nest together to make storage neat and tidy.

hop zoo light up unicorn toy

Skip Hop

$5.99

Zoo Light Up Squeeze Toy

Light up toys bring bath time to a whole new level. This cutie illuminates when it touches the water to keep little ones engaged, is safely phthalate-free and will not take in water which means no mold can grow inside.

Best Bath Toys for Toddlers

Boon water bugs bath tub toy set

Boon

$7.99

Water Bugs Bath Tub Toy Set

Watch them delight in scooping and catching the colorful bugs which are designed for little hands. It’s a fun way to build manual dexterity for babies and toddlers.

Tommee Tippee Splashtime Super Spinner Bath Toys

Tommee Tippee

$12.99

Splashtime Super Spinner Bath Toys

Stick these sweet creatures to the tub or wall and let little ones explore cause and effect through scooping, pouring and splashing. They stack for easy storage and are dishwasher safe for the occasional deep clean.

Sandra Boyton bath time book

Sandra Boynton

$7.95

Bath Time!

Reading in the bath is one of life’s simple pleasures. Soggy paper is not. This water-safe plastic book is a great way to wrap up the ritual and move onto bedtime.

Andy Warhol Color Magic Bath Book

Andy Warhol

$9.99

Color Magic Bath Book

Another fun (and educational!) addition to your bath time library, this fun book features some of Andy Warhol’s iconic works that come to life as they get wet. Little ones will delight in watching the colors appear as they dip them in the tub!

Munchkin Fishin-Bath-Toy

Munchkin

$8.99

Fishin' Bath Toy

Toddlers can work their hand-eye coordination while fishing for the adorable creatures that are included with the set. Strong magnets make it just challenging enough while the seamless design keeps water out.

Munchkin 36 Bath Letters and Numbers

Munchkin

$5.95

36 Bath Letters and Numbers

Learn the ABCs, counting and spelling with this simple set of colorful letters and numbers. The foam is soft and durable but most suitable for little ones who no longer cram everything into their mouths.

boon jellies sensory bath toys

Boon

$10.99

Jellies Sensory Cup Bath Toys

These easy-to-grab jellyfish can stack and stick to walls, tubs and one another with their suction cup tentacles. Perfect for building in the bath!

bolza safari animal toys

Bolza

$19.53

Safari Animal Figures

Explore the animal kingdom from the comfort of a bubble bath. Including 12 realistic  animals from all over the world, this set is equally fun out of the tub.

Boon building bath toy bundle with pipes, cogs and tubes

Boon

$32.99

Building Bath Toy Bundle With Pipes, Cogs and Tubes

Powered by water and imagination, this set of suctioning building toys work in all kinds of configurations. Just stick them to the wall to experiment with different designs.

Sassy Whirling Wheel Waterfall, Double Dip Funnel & Flex N Fill Cups

Sassy

$24.99

Whirling Wheel Waterfall, Double Dip Funnel and Flex n' Fill Cups Set

This colorful set will keep them busy until the water cools. The whirling wheel waterfall suctions to the tub or wall, ready to spin as they scoop and pour!

Submarine Spray Station
$29.95

Submarine Spray Station

Go big or get out of the tub, right? This endlessly engaging wall waterpark gently pumps bathwater to create a never-ending stream that squirts, spins and teaches basic STEM concepts as they play. Press the goggled face to turn water on and off and experiment with the interchangeable bath cups to create different water effects. (Note this one does require batteries!)

lakeshore learning foam bath blocks

Lakeshore Learning

$29.99

Design & Build Water Blocks

Given their inability to float, blocks aren’t the ideal bath toy. Unless they’re foam! This 30-piece set not only allows kids to build during bath time, but the blocks stick together when they’re wet to make creations of all kinds.

green toys tea set

Green Toys

$26.72

Tea Set

These aren’t technically labeled as a bath toy, but bath time tea parties have been known to be the most sophisticated form of bathroom playtime. Until someone dumps their cup over someone else’s head. But that’s part of the fun, right? This set gets bonus points not only for its eco-friendly design, but for its gender-neutral primary colorscape. Because not every tea set needs to be pink and frilly, thankyouverymuch.

elot slide splash water ball bath toy

ELOT

$28.99

Slide and Splash Water Ball Track

Perfect for older kids who love to build, this set of durable, interchangeable track sticks together and suctions to the wall (or any smooth surface) to create all kinds of courses to pour water and roll balls down. Reviewers note that some pieces are too small for little ones, but it’s more suited for the older set anyway.

alex bath usa map in the tub

Alex

$14.85

USA Map in the Tub

Recently I carried a trivia team to victory with my semi-useless knowledge of the outline of each state. I can tell you for certain it’s because I spent hours upon hours putting one puzzle together over and over again when my oldest went through a map phase about a decade ago. Consider this an investment in your trivia night cache. (Oh, and your child’s education I guess.)

sky organics kids bath bombs gift set

Sky Organics

$24.99

Kids Bath Bombs Set

It’s never too early to introduce little ones to the ritual of self-care. This jumbo box of fun and colorful bath bombs feature a variety of yummy scents and include a surprise toy inside each one. They’re also made in the USA, vegan and cruelty-free. (I also feel inclined to let you know that one is called monkey farts which doesn’t scream “self-care” but if I’m being honest is what sold me on the whole thing.)

Whether you’re expecting in months or mere days, let Motherly guide you with our registry featuring curated collections of essentials for you and baby. Click here to check out Motherly’s essential registry guide. 

A version of this story was published January 5, 2021. It has been updated.