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Bathtime can be a stressful time of the day, everyone's tired, the bathroom can be a hostile environment, and the children may simply detest water - what can you do?! Bathing is an important aspect of raising healthy children, so the key is to make it an enjoyable experience and a regular part of the bedime routine.
Unless your children have particularly dry skin you can bathe them every day and use bathtime as a signal to relax and wind down for the day. Even at this stage of the day you can introduce games and craft and even if your children don't take to water naurally, with a bit of distraction they'll come to enjoy bathtime and even come to love it!
Bath toys are readily available from toy stores and supermarkets. Even if toys aren't designed specifically for educational purposes, simply having toys and water will lead to natural learning. Your children will discover the properties of water, how it flows, how objects sink or swim and lots more. Simply playing with water teaches children so many lessons.
Why not make your own soaps to encourage the children to clean themselves? This is an activity before bath; soap making kits are readily available from craft and toy stores. Make sure any kits state that the soaps are suitable for children as soaps can be caustic and irritate the skin, and make them up as instructed. Add your own essential oils for a variety of scents.
Bath crayons are oil based crayons that you can use to draw and scribble on the side of the bath and also available from toy stores. They are waterproof and scrub off easily (although best to clean them straight after the bath as they can become harder to scrub off if left for days!). Young babies will enjoy scribbling, older children will love to draw pictures and practice writing their name, numbers and letters.
If you like to make your own craft materials, you can even make your own bathtime paints. Mix a mild, baby shampoo with cornstarch and a couple of drops of food colouring. Make up several colours and you'll have a fun and safe paint to paint on your bath. Make sure you wipe the paints away as soon as you finish bath because food colouring really could stain if you leave it for too long!