Bath Tub Fun Messy Play Kit Guide- updated 2019
Ready to dig into your Bath Tub Fun Messy Play Kit? On this page you'll find detailed step-by-step instructions, ideas to extend the learning, and some links to other resources. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions about your kit. Now go get messy!
Colorful Spray Bottles:
1. Fill the spray bottles halfway with water. You’ll immediately see the color tablets fizzing, turning the water fun colors. You can add more water, but the color will be diluted.
2. Close the bathtub drain, and fill the tub with warm water and your favorite bubble bath solution for a regular bubble bath. If you don’t want bubbles, you can leave those out and just use the spray bottles on the tub walls instead of the bubbles.
3. Spray the colored water on the bubbles. Can you see the bubbles changing colors? Can you make a pattern or a design on the bubbles? If you chose to leave out the bubble bath, spray the colored water on the tub walls. Can you get your toes? What about the far side of the tub?
What are they learning?
- Motor control: It takes a lot of effort to squeeze the spray bottle, especially while simultaneously aiming where the spray goes.
- Science: Color mixing, cause and effect (where do the bubbles come from? What happens if you swish the water around quickly?)
- Creativity: They can create fun patterns in the bubbles, or even a design- it's totally up to them!
1. Empty the bag of cornstarch (small) into a mixing bowl. Pour it carefully so it doesn’t all poof up into the air.
2. Have an adult cut the tip off of the pipette of liquid watercolor (small) and squeeze the color into the cornstarch.
3. Add the liquid soap and sweet almond oil and slowly stir until thoroughly mixed. You may need to mix with your hands and knead so it fully comes together. If it’s too dry, try adding more of the soap and oil that are left in the bottles, or a few drops of water.
4. You should have a substance that’s soft and moldable, similar to play dough, but not sticky.
5. Now play! Shape it like you would playdough, and squeeze and squish it between your fingers! When you want to use it as soap, you can either use the entire chunk and lather your hands up with it, or break off a small piece and use that.
|NOTE: This soap will dry up over time and may crack. This is normal and is a great way to learn about evaporate and drying! You may continue to use it as soap, either i small pieces or the entire shape. You can also work in a few drops of water to rehydrate the soap and reshape it.|
What are they learning?
- Fine motor control: squeezing the pipette, kneading the dough, shaping the soap.
- Material Properties: the soap is soft and moldable and won’t hold it’s shape at first, but over time it will harden!
- Creativity: What shape do they want to make? It’s your child’s decision, and that’s powerful for young children.
1. Place one fizzy in water and watch! They fizz and crumble and dissolve in the water!
2. After the first one, try to have a brief conversation with your child about what they think is happening. Why did this dry, hard object start to fizz in the water like that? Do they predict the other fizzies will do the same? Will the bigger fizzies take longer or go faster?
3. Write down what your child says about their predictions and hypotheses.
This is a safe chemical reaction occurring. The fizzies are made of baking soda and citric acid, which when combined with water, produce carbon dioxide bubbles. It’s also an endothermic reaction, meaning the temperature will decrease as it's reacting. Feel the water around the bubbles- it will feel cold!
What are they learning?
- Science: Learning about a simple and safe chemical reaction- use proper vocabulary (hypothesis, reaction, acid, base) to increase their knowledge
- Math: Try counting to see how long it takes each bath fizzy to finish reacting.
- Write down your predictions and observations to show that you value your child’s words and thoughts, and to help you compare between different fizzies (trials of an experiment)
This is the messy activity in this kit!
1. Empty the bag of cornstarch into a mixing bowl. Pour it carefully so it doesn’t all poof up into the air.
2. Cut the tip off the pipette of liquid watercolor and empty its contents into the cornstarch.
3. Add about 1/3 cup of water and stir until it’s fully mixed. You should have a substance that acts as both a liquid and a solid. When you scoop it up, it’s hard and cracks, but when you let it drip off the spoon, it pours like water.
4. Pour the contents of the mixing bowl into the dry bathtub, or place the entire bowl inside and have your child climb in. Explore the material with your hands- it really is quite bizarre!
|TIP: Add other tools to explore the oobleck with, such as measuring cups, funnels, and my personal favorite: a plastic strainer or colander!|
- Science: this bizarre material is different from other materials. It acts as both a liquid and a solid (called a “non-Newtonian fluid”) and is one of the fun properties of cornstarch.
- Creativity and problem-solving: what fun things can you do with oobleck? Can you make it go through a funnel? What happens if you push on it really hard? Can you roll it into a ball? Can you make other shapes with it?
Foam Tic Tac Toe:
1. Draw two sets of two lines, horizontally and vertically, on the large square piece of foam. You want it divided into 9 roughly equal squares. If you want, use a ruler to measure and draw the lines. Use a permanent marker so the lines don’t wash off in water.
2. Cut the other two pieces of foam in five pieces.
3. Using the permanent marker, draw one symbol on each piece of foam of one color, and a different symbol on the other color. Standard tic tac toe uses the letters X and O. If you want to get really fancy, you can even cut one color into circles.
4. Play tic tac toe in the bathtub! Foam floats on water and sticks the tile when wet, so play on the water or the walls!
What are they learning?
- Fine motor control: Have them help cut the foam pieces. There are plenty of extras. For younger kids, drawing lines for them to cut on can make it easier.
- Games: following rules, taking turns, coping with winning and losing, participating in social situations
More Bath Tub Play!
There are so many ways to continue playing in the tub! Here are some of my favorites.
- Parents.com has an article with a few fun ideas for playing in the tub. Some are better for younger kids, but some ideas can be easily modified for older children too. Remember, the point is to play together!
- Make your own bathtub paint! Mix shaving cream with some liquid watercolors (my favorite) or food coloring. Be careful, as food coloring may stain the tub or grout, or even skin, which is why I prefer liquid watercolors or washable paint. Use a muffin tin as the paint tray, add a paintbrush, and go crazy decorating the tub! The shaving cream makes for a very fabulous sensory experience.
- Mom Loves Best has a great article for 12 bath time games to make bath even more fun for little ones! She's got great ideas, easy recipes and instructions, and links directly to products you can buy to level up your bath play!
- Find other fun foam games to play in the tub. Cut black foam pieces into long strips to become a road, and cut other road signs shapes from other colors. Add your own washable toy cars and you've got a floating city road!
- You can even play basketball in the bathtub! Ever Never Again has great photos of a project you can make quickly using pool noodles. Use a shorter noodle piece if you need a smaller ring.
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