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 a bath toy 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 baby bath toys
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.
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.
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.
Mix and match these colorful critters to discover multiple rain effects. They're also dishwasher-safe!
Never underestimate the power of simplicity. This colorful set of BPA-free cups from the Swedish pros at Stokke are certain to engage kids for years to come. Each piece has a different feature, one with no holes, one with holes, one with a pour spout and one with a lid to engage in various experiments and activities. When bathtime is over, they stack together for easy storage.
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.)
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.
Mericorn? Merfox? Let them decide. This pair of interchangeable pals can twist apart to exchange tails (which also makes them easy to keep clean!)
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.
Rockets are so in this year. This fun squirt toy isn't just for playing—it also changes color if the water is too hot!
Best toddler bath toys
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Explore the animal kingdom from the comfort of a bubble bath. Including 20 foam animals from all over the world, this set sticks to tubs and walls and comes packaged in a waterproof mesh tube with a suction cup for easy storage.
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.
This is currently a pretty awesome deal at 53% off. The whirling wheel waterfall suctions to the tub or wall, ready to spin as they scoop and pour!
Go big or get out of the tub, right? This endlessly engaging wall waterpark gently pumps bathwater to create a neverending 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!)
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.)
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