Bathtub Science :: 3 Cheap and Easy Activities

Bath time is a great opportunity to interact and have fun with my girls. Now that they are preschool age and far less of a drowning risk, this time can be used to teach and have fun, and one of our favorite subjects is science. Try one of these three fun activities that bring science into the bathtub!

Sink or Float

This is an easy and fun game where your child determines whether items sink or float. Anything and everything that was water proof was fair game. Incorporate science language and ask for their hypothesis, run the experiment and ask for their conclusion. Children can gather items they would like to run an experiment on.  Sink or Float takes minimal time to setup, is free and new objects can constantly be added.   

Ideas of Items to Test:  

– Hair tie
– Comb
– Nail clippers
– Q-tip
– Pen
– Spoon
– Plastic spoon
– Feather
– Toothpaste
– Toothbrush
– Barrette
– Loofah  

Science terms to use:  Scientific Method, hypothesis, experiment, conclusion, buoyancy, mass, weight

Bathtub Bakery

Kids love to help in the kitchen. Families have been cooking and baking together since the beginning of time.  Bringing these lessons and skills into the bathtub is easy, fun, and a quick cleanup. Items that are already in your kitchen can be used for this bathtub fun. Make up your own recipe for example:  Add one cup of blue water, ½ cup of red water and one tablespoon of shaving cream. A little food coloring in different containers are great for this measuring game. My youngest now asks to make potions. Ask your child to be precise and thoughtful about getting the correct amount. Help them learn the different units of measuring. Take your game to the next level and try shaving cream in a piping bag with a fancy tip to decorate a plate, toy, or kiddo.  Your kid will appreciate your creativity and engagement.     

Supplies Needed:

  • Mixing bowls
  • Measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • Stirring spoons
  • Whisks
  • Food coloring
  • Shaving cream 

Science terms to use:  Volume, precision, quantity, addition, units of measurement

Number Boats

This activity was fun and easy to create., and it can grow as your child does. Initially it, can help with number recognition, counting, and matching.  Ask your child to count the dots and then find the corresponding number. Add a + or – sign opens up the activity into a full-blown math lesson.  For younger children use different colored pool noodles and make it a matching game. Ask your child to find 3 blue boats and 2 yellow. How many are there in total? Can you count them? We had fun timing the questions. You have 10 seconds to find the number 2. This game is versatile and fun allowing multiple ways to play.

Supplies Needed: 

  • Pool noodle
  • Scissors
  • Straws or wood dows
  • Foam sheets or cut outs
  • Tape measure
  • Permanent marker

Science terms to use:  Numbers, sequence, equation, sum, matching

Don’t feel discouraged if your bathtub science plan goes awry and turns into make-believe play with stories of pirates, potions and adventures. Let the progression happen, as the most important thing is that you are present when you child is in the bathtub and that you are putting effort into maximizing the bathtub experiences! Water and play can offer so many opportunities for the engaged parents, give these activities a try for a fun and unique bathing experience!


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