This Post is created In Partnership with Disney Book Group
For kids, getting dirty is their job. And they take it VERY seriously. From making sure that they wipe their sticky sucker fingers across their hair to making dirt potions in the backyard. My kids play hard and they get smelly and need baths just like the Pigeon from The Pigeon Needs A Bath. And sometimes my kids are reluctant when it comes to wanting a bath, because usually there is something more exciting going on.
April marked, Mo Willems’ famous Pigeon’s 16th BIRD-Day, and since the Pigeon ALSO doesn’t want a bath, I thought this would be a great time to share some things that helped our family face bath time woes and make it the BEST part of our family’s day.
Plus, most of these ideas we dip into, when it’s not bath time, but we need to get things done or calm them down. Bath’s can be a fun change of pace for kids if presented in the right way.
We have been doing this for years and years and with each new kid this still brings excitement…AND cleaner toys. 😆 It was after having a lot of sick germs, that I came up with this idea. I poured all the Duplos into the bathtub with soap and the boys (Jackson (age 4) and Bennett (age 18 months) at the time) went crazy and wanted in with them. And I thought, hmmmm, why not?! So, I tossed the boys in and they were in there for a solid hour!!! They were playing with one of their favorite toys and sitting in water. Simple, but it really added a new level of excitement. My kids can sit in the bathtub and play with their Duplo’s for at least 30 minutes and now we don’t just do it when we are sanitizing the bricks.
Freeze any of your kids toys (that won’t mildew) into a plastic container with water and freeze it. Then place the giant ice block into the bath with them and let them watch it melt. They can excavate their toys from it. They will suck on it and chip away at it with their fingers and the bath water, while squealing with excitement as a new toys emerges from the cube of ice.
The bath water does cool down with this one, but we just add a little more hot water if they start feeling too cold. Martin and Callaghan love trying to guess which toy will come out next. Another variation on this can be freezing leaves, flowers, grass, twigs, etc. Little things found outside inside a giant ice block or in individual ice cubes. My kids love this! Stella still asks to do this and she is 7, so this isn’t just for toddlers.
You know those hours right before bedtime and the kids are going stir crazy/wanting all your attention, but you are trying to make dinner? Throw them in a bath with a popsicle. Seriously. When we were living at UCLA in student housing, the bathroom was right off of the kitchen and I would stick Jackson and Bennett in the bath with a popsicle. They would be watching kids playing at the playground and desperately want to go out and play. However, I knew dinner needed to hit the table and that would never happen if I sat out at the playground, so I would put them in a bath with a popsicle. This became a ritual for them and it happened almost every night for years. They loved it! I loved it and dinner still made it to the table without all of us losing our minds. And they never got tired of doing it! Plus, no sticky popsicle mess on anyone or anything when we were done.
Turn on the music and let them jam out or chill out. Sometimes they request Taylor Swift and other times it’s The Piano Guys, depending on the mood they are in and what we are using the bath for. I have found that when my kids are continually crying or throwing fits that just running a bath and plopping them in with some music can make all the difference. It feels odd when Mom says lets hit the bath and it is 11:00am and you are already dressed and ready for the day. And music is fun to listen to when you are in the bath.
Another simple idea, but still a different setting from when they usually read books. My kids love the Pigeon books, they are laugh-out-loud-funny and totally interactive and a favorite for a bath time read. Sometimes I do this before bedtime and sometimes I do this before naptime. I drop a few drops of lavender essential oil in their bath give them a wash cloth or a few toys and just start reading. They are usually messy from dinner or lunch and tired. They don’t want to do anything I want them to do and this just breaks up the routine and calms them down for rest. If they are older or I am trying to clean the bathroom or something, I turn on an audiobook. I can scrub the toilet, wash the mirrors, wipe down the sink and still have time to quickly scrub the floor. And they are happy and entertained and I have gotten a job done without them kicking around my heels or being upset that I can’t hold them or something of that sort.
Did you know you can make your own bath bombs?! After Stella got a bath bomb kit this last year, we decided to try to make our own version. It didn’t seem too hard and it sounded fun, plus a heck of a lot cheaper than the bath bombs you buy at the store!
We made these bath bombs to celebrate Pigeon and his 16th Bird-day! So, we drew Pigeon laminated him and inserted them into the middle of our cupcake shaped bath bombs. We also colored them blue for Pigeon and added sprinkles, because every birthday needs sprinkles! Here is a simple recipe for making your own bath bombs:
1/2 cup Citric Acid
1/2 cup Cornstarch
1/2 cup Epsom Salt
(mix these together)
1 cup Baking Soda
(then add you baking soda to the mix)
3 Tablespoons Coconut Oil (melted)
If adding food coloring add a few drops to the coconut oil, then dump this into the dry ingredients and stir or cut-in with a fork. You can also use your fingers the punch and break up the coconut oil. Until there aren’t any chunks left.
Then add 10-12 drops of a mild Essential Oil, we used Wild Orange. It smells heavenly. Mix this up until it is well incorporated and no chunks are left.
Add 1-2 Tablespoons of sprinkles and stir until well mixed.
We drew 12 pigeons, laminated them and inserted them into the middle of each bath bomb for a fun surprise!
Get a muffin pan and distribute the mixed evenly between 12 muffin slots. Once mixture is placed inside each tin, press firmly until it is hard and packed in.
Let it sit and dry overnight or at least 5-6 hours. Then carefully flip the tin over and your bath bombs should slide out. If they don’t, tap the tin lightly on the bottom and this should loosen them.
Now that you have tackled bath time woes, you can face school time school time struggles with Pigeon. Did you know that Mo Willem’s Pigeon is coming back to us in an all new book adventure this June, The Pigeon Has To Go To School. I can’t wait to read this one with my kids and I am sure it is going to bring up loads of good discussions and laughs, just like the other Pigeon books have.