DIY Bath Paint!

As you may have noticed, we have had about two years and nine months of struggle town when it comes to bathing Pebble. She hates being washed, hates getting in the bath (and yes, quite often hates getting OUT the bath). Our very favourite trick for luring Pebble into the water is DIY Bath Paint. She just loves the stuff, and it’s so cheap and easy to make. Come and visit me at Learning 4 Kids to get the recipe!

15 Fun Bath Ideas for Reluctant Kids

Pebble has hated baths since birth. Actually, that’s a lie. When she was one day old she had a calm bath. I don’t count that one though, I think she was still recovering from being dragged into the outside world! We have had to get creative to lure Pebble into the bath and keep the tears away. Here are some of our favourite bath fun ideas:

15 Fun Bath Ideas for Reluctant Kids

  1. Songs – Pebble likes to stand for as long as possible in the bath, which kind of defeats the purpose of getting in. One needs to get wet in order to be washed! A favourite trick of mine is to sing: “Ring a ring a Rosie, a pocket full of posies, a tissue, a tissue, we all fall DOWN”. I feel SO smug when she sits. We also sing “It’s Raining It’s Pouring” and “The Lady with the Alligator Purse“.
  2. Games – try “can you pretend to be a …. fish, mermaid, whale, crab, boat, dolphin”… basically anything that you find in the water!
  3. Blowing bubbles “show me how you can blow bubbles in the water! Wow, that was a big one! I bet you can’t do one even bigger…”. You get the idea.
  4. Flannels and face washers – Pebble (like most children) really doesn’t like water in her eyes, so we give her a flannel for the hair washing part of the routine. She holds it over her eyes to stop the water going in. I will admit that she’s usually still crying while doing this, but at least she is still and tolerating it. Flannels are also great for pretending to wash baby dolls, which encourages children to wash themselves too.
  5. Goggles – Pebble only tried this a couple of times before deciding it wasn’t for her, but it can be a great way for children to get used to the water without the worry of getting it in their eyes.
  6. Special buckets – we tried a jug with a soft, curved side, which moulds to the shape of the child’s head as you pour. Great idea in theory, but in practice it only works if the child sits still long enough! You can buy these jugs at places like Target. I hope it works better for other people than it did for us!
  7. Cups – we brought some plastic kitchen cups into the bath tub for pouring play, as well as some stacking bath cups with holes (you know the ones?)
  8. Toy watering cans – these are perfect for Pebble to pour a little bit of water at a time of herself, without too much drama. Also great for pretend play in the bath.
  9. Shower hose attachment – this is a short length of hose that attached easily to the bath tap at one end, and sprays water from a shower head at the other. The next step up from the watering can! We found this really useful for rinsing Pebble quickly, especially her hair, which is quite thick.
  10. Plastic people and animal toys – we’ve had Cinderella, Dora, Iggle Piggle and Upsy Daisy, plus the whole population of Little People in the bath. The best thing about these kinds of toys in the bath is that Pebble often gets distracted by them enough to get right into the water.
  11. Bath Textas – we only tried these recently. They create a runny paint texture on the side of the bath or one tiles, that easily wipes off. Also fun to use on the shower screen.
  12. DIY Bath Paint – mix up a little corn flour with some liquid soap, a couple of drops of water and some food colouring.
  13. Shaving Foam Paint – squirt some shaving foam into a container and mix up with a few drops of food colouring. You could also try some yummy smells with essence – peppermint, lavender, strawberry…
  14. Coloured water – adding a few drops of food colouring to the water makes for a fun bath experience. Don’t worry, you won’t dye your kids blue.
  15. Water squirters – you can get all kinds of little squirters for the bath these days, often in the shape of animals.

For more fun bath ideas try this:

{None of the products mentioned in this post are sponsored, they are just things that we have tried}

Do you have a reluctant bather? I’d love to hear about your tricks and tips for getting through the bath time routine without tears.

Ask Octavia and Vicky: Babies and Drawing

Here’s a question asked by a friend of mine over the weekend, and I thought to myself, I bet there are others out there that would like to know the answer. Allow me to introduce the very first Ask Octavia and Vicky post!

baby toddler drawing

The answers to two questions will help you know if your baby or toddler is ready for drawing using drawing tools:

– can they grasp a crayon?

– have they stopped putting anything and everything in their mouths?

Ideally you can answer ‘yes’ to both questions before starting drawing with your baby. Many children can grasp a crayon at around 11 – 13 months. Children with older brothers and sisters are more likely to have a crack at using crayons earlier, just because they’re more likely to have access to them! If your child hasn’t started scribbling by around 16 months, it may be worth mentioning next time you check in with your child and youth health nurse.

baby drawingPebble, drawing with crayons, 14 months

Some good tools to start with are good quality, thick, non-toxic crayons, markers and chalk. We have tried and tested the Micador Early Start range (nope, they didn’t ask me to write this – I just love them!). The colours are bright, they are easy to use, they wash off easily and they have lasted the test of time. Check out the Chunky Markers, Chunky Stampers, Crayon Kids, Egg Chalk, and Jumbo Chalk. Crayola also makes Bath Tub Crayons and Bath Tub Markers, to really help contain the mess.

egg chalk
Micador Early stART Egg Chalk

If your little is not yet able to grasp a crayon, or still enjoys putting everything in their mouth, a great pre-drawing activity is finger painting. Try making these homemade edible finger paints from The Imagination Tree.

homemade edible finger paint

When did your child start to enjoy drawing?

Tuesday Tots

Make Your Own Wrapping Paper

Make Your Own Wrapping Paper

It was Paul’s birthday recently and I thought it would be fun to try some messy art while making some cute wrapping paper at the same time. Here’s how it’s done.

You will need:

  • paint (we used tempura powder paint, but any washable/child friendly paint will do)
  • 1 plate per colour (we used tough melamine plates that are easy to wash)
  • 1 dish cloth per colour
  • 1 outdoor tap, or a bucket of water
  • large sheets of paper (we used recycled paper from an architect friend)
  • one or more enthusiastic children

How to:

~ dampen each cloth, fold into a square and place on the plate.

~ pour paint onto the cloth. You need just enough to turn the cloth into a stamp pad.

~ set up your paper, lead the children to the paint and stamp away!

~ when you’re done leave your wrapping to dry and hose off plates and children.

Make Your Own Wrapping Paper


  • Use sticky tape to secure your paper to the ground before you start.
  • Have extra paint ready to top up the ‘stamp pads’ as needed.
  • For easy clean up keep this activity outdoors (you didn’t need me to write that, did you?).
  • Go straight from art to bath if the backyard hose isn’t working out for you.
  • Tempura powder paint does flake off a little with handling. If you want to avoid further mess try poster paint.
  • I highly recommend having a go yourself. There’s nothing quite like the feel of paint between your toes. Instant childhood, right there.

Make Your Own Wrapping Paper

Or you could….

  • try this with any age child – or adult!
  • we stuck with footprints but you could try out all different parts of the body, or grab some leaves from the garden for leaf stamping.

What takes you back to your childhood?

Shaving Foam Prints

shaving foam printsP1180311P1180313P1180317

I’ve been looking forward to trying this for a while now and a little gap in our afternoon provided the perfect chance to throw it together.

You will need:

shaving foam
and old tray
food colouring
thick card (to scrape away excess foam)
a stick, paint brush, old pencil or fingers!
optional: newspaper, damp cloth, old clothes

I set up some shaving foam in an old oven tray, drizzled it with food colouring and made sure the paper was close by. I threw some old clothes on the kiddo and myself, grabbed an old pencil for swirling the colours and we were away!

Pebble had a ball swirling those colours around and around, I think she would have been happy to do that all day. Then came the printing! Pebble was able to press the paper onto the foam herself, with some instructions to press gently all over. Then I helped her to lift the paper off and scrape the excess foam away revealing an ooooooh-aaaaaaah inspiring print. We did about five prints, re-swirling inbetween, before the colours started to get really murky.

Tips: have an old damp cloth close by to wipe up mess and some folded paper or sturdy card to scrape off the excess foam from each print. You can also set up some sheets of old newspaper to put your prints while they dry. If your child has sensitive skin it might be best to avoid this activity, however Pebble is one of these sensitive ones and she had no worries. Use your own judgement!

Got a baby? This is not cool for babies. Everything goes in their mouths and shaving foam is not food, peeps! Try this sensory play idea instead.

Got a preschooler or a school kid? Try levelling off the foam and writing or drawing in it before making a print for a different effect. Use different objects (old toothbrush, comb, fork) to ‘draw’ in the foam before printing.

Got a classroom of school kids? Aren’t you brave to try this? But you can! Each child can have their own paper/plastic plate with a small amount of shaving foam and smaller pieces of paper for printing. Or set it up as a small group experience – I recommend no more than four at a time!

Tuesday Tots

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