Bathtime and the ritual of skincare are SO important for bonding mama and babe, creating healthy routines, and calming and soothing little ones— but did you know that these special moments with your kiddos actually be opportunities for educational play, too?
We recently picked the brain of Dr. Allie Ticktin—author, Occupational Therapist, founder of Play 2 Progress, and all-around superstar—to get allllll the ideas for making bathtime and skincare rituals fun AND educational experiences for our babes. Read on for some awesome suggestions from Allie!
Children like to feel independent and I am all about giving them the opportunity to try to do things on their own. Get your child involved in their self-care by letting them try to do it on their own.
Q: We think that skincare can be an educational and intentional experience for our babes, but also should be fun! Are there any ways you’d suggest bringing aspects of play into our little ones’ self-care routines?
A: I like bringing play into everything from getting ready in the morning to mealtime and of course, skin care! Skin care is actually a great time to help your little one work on recognizing the parts of their body. Have your little one name the parts of their body as they put the products on their skin. You can also have them close their eyes as you place one dollop of product on one part of their body. Have them guess which part of their body you just put lotion on. Once they have guessed, take it one step farther and see it they can touch the lotion and begin rubbing it in, all with their eyes closed! Skincare can also be very relaxing. Bring in their other senses and lower the lights, put an essential oil diffuser in the room with you and provide your little one with a calming massage as you complete the routine. This is a great way to wind down before bed and after a long day!
Q: It can be hard to keep kiddos engaged during necessary care tasks like teeth brushing, hair brushing, etc. Any fun ideas to keep little ones entertained or turn these rituals into a game?
A: Children like to feel independent and I am all about giving them the opportunity to try to do things on their own. Get your child involved in their self-care by letting them try to do it on their own. If they need some help, make it fun by letting them also try it on you. You can also have a self-care doll that you keep in the bathroom. As you help them with self care, they get to help the doll (brush the doll’s hair, moisturize her hands, etc.). Keep it fun and light – sing, dance and try not to rush your child through the routine.
Q: Do you have any favorite ways to make bathtime more fun?
A: I am a big fan of container play in the bath! There is so much you can do with a few kitchen essentials like bowls, a strainer and a few cups. Rather than having a bath full of toys, pick a few open-ended toys that can be used in a variety of different ways like cups and strainers. This will encourage creativity while your little one has fun in the tub!
Q: Beyond skincare & bathtime, do you have any other fave indoor activities or fun sensory play ideas to keep little ones engaged during the chilly winter months?
A: It is so hard to pick just a few (and I have an entire treasure chest full of them in my book Play to Progress). I would say anything that gets kids up and moving is ideal! I love using couch pillows to build forts, a climbing ramp up to the couch or a jumping area on the floor. I also love creating an in home “car wash.” Have your little one use a dish brush and some soap to wash their toys (especially their toy cars). Another idea is to use boxes from deliveries to paint and then build – they can become anything from a spaceship to a robot costume.