We are big on baths at our house. We use them to get clean, calm down, get ready for bed time, and often, we use them as something fun to do in the middle of the day.
With your budgeted five dollars at the dollar store, you will need to buy shaving cream, sponges, vinyl shelf liner, float and sink items (see Activity 3 below), and cooking items (see Activity 4). If you already have some of these items, you can put the money towards the extra items listed below.
Other things you might consider purchasing: food coloring, a muffin tin, body wash, and brushes. You can get by without these items, or you may already have some at home!
Activity 1: Shaving Cream Paint
Stir together shaving cream and a drop or two of food coloring. Use fingers or a brush to “paint” your bath tub walls.
Not a fan of shaving cream? Body wash and food coloring work too! Not a fan of food coloring? Use plain white shaving cream; it’s still fun! (Bonus: A couple of drops of food coloring in bath water is exciting as well!)
Activity 2: Sponge Mosaic Art
Cut sponges into small squares and rectangles. Create mosaic pictures on the side of the tub or on a floating placemat. If you like, you can use shaving cream or body wash to (temporarily) “glue” the sponge pieces to your tub walls.
Activity 3: Float and Sink Treasure Hunt
Before your child gets in the bath, add some plastic objects that will float (like these glow-in-the-dark flowers) and some others that will sink (like these heart bangle bracelets). Cover the surface of the water with shaving cream (or lots of bubbles from bubble bath or body wash). Encourage your child to hunt for the objects. Together you can count the objects and make observations about floating and sinking. (Bonus: Turn off the lights for a minute to enjoy the glow-in-the-dark flowers. Just make sure everyone stays seated and safe. Glow sticks work well in the bath tub as well!)
Activity 4: Bath Tub “Cooking”
The dollar store has toy cooking sets, but you can also use measuring cups, measuring spoons, and small bowls from the dollar store (or your kitchen). Fill some cups with shaving cream or bubble bath bubbles, and pretend to be a chef and customers at a restaurant.
Activity 5: Shelf Liner Stick ‘Ems
Trace shapes on vinyl shelf liner using stencils or cookie cutters. Feel free to freehand if you are comfortable with that. Cut out the traced shapes. Animals, shapes, letters, and numbers…there are many possibilities! Wet the shape(s) and wall to adhere the shapes to the wall. Shaving cream and body wash can also be used as “glue.”
Check out Activity 3 in this previous editions of Five Dollars, Five Ways for Alien Bath Time.
Now go get clean, and have some fun!