Make a Splash With These 9 Toddler-Friendly Bath Toys
If you’ve perused the bath-toy market lately, you know it’s overflowing with cute, squeaky, and water-friendly toys. “There are floaty toys, cups, crayons, [and] even waterproof books,” says Gina Posner, MD, a board-certified pediatrician at MemorialCare Orange Coast Medical Center in Fountain Valley, CA.
Fortunately, the numerous options are actually to toddlers’ benefit. Like non-bath playthings, bath toys double as developmental tools.
“Bath toys are great for fine motor and language skills, as well as sensory exploration and imaginative play,” says Amra Zuzo, MD, FAAP, a pediatrician with Novant Health in Charlotte, NC. “Additionally, if parents or siblings are participating, they are another wonderful way to bond, relax, and have fun before bedtime.”
But before purchasing a bath toy for a toddler, you’ll want to keep age in mind. “Whether bath toys are safe and developmentally appropriate are two things to consider when buying them for your child,” Dr. Zuzo says. “For safety, we recommend that parents pick toys that do not come apart or have small pieces that could easily find their way into little airways . . . stacking cups or suction cups are great beginner toys that allow toddlers to master pouring and manipulating small objects.”
Dr. Posner says mold is a common issue with bath toys. “The ones that can’t dry out get moldy, like the squeezy ones that take in water,” she says. But some basic hygiene practices can help with mold risks. “Washing soap suds off and drying the toys soon after the bath will help keep mold away,” Dr. Zuzo says.
Ready to make a splash? These are the best toddler bath toys, based on pediatrician guidelines and parents’ reviews.