19 of the best bath toys to make bathtime fun

Dad bathing baby

by Lily Anderson |
Updated on

Bathing your baby for the first few times is one of the scariest things a new parent does. But you'll soon get the hang of it and that slippery baby will start to enjoy bathtime. Because this is such a big milestone, it's essential you understand when you should introduce bath toys and other baby bath products.

Here at Mother&Baby, we recommend introducing bath toys when your infant has head control and is able to sit up by themselves. Every bubba is different, but this should happen when your little one is approximately six months old.

When they become a toddler, bath time is a great time to splash around and have fun as well as keeping clean after a day of exploration and curiosity! Children learn through their senses and bathing is a hugely sensory experience, evoking the sensations of touch, smell, and sound. This makes it essential for healthy social, emotional, and behavioural development.

Best at a glance:

  • Best shower bath toys: Elephant Baby Shower, £24.95.

  • Best spray station bath toys: Submarine Spray Station, £29.95

  • Best bath toys for sensory: Etta Loves Natural Rubber Bath Toys 3-pack, £30

  • Best bath toys for imaginative skills: Boon Bundle Building Bath Toy Set, £28.18

  • Best bath toys for music: Munchkin Bath Beats Musical Bath Toy Gift Set, £21.49

Playing in water has plenty of benefits for you toddler. By splashing and pouring, they develop their motor and coordination skills. Plus, it could help increase your child’s attention span and ability to concentrate by holding their interest for long periods of time.

It's also a good bonding opportunity where you can play and splash around together with the best bath toys. So we’ve shortlisted our favourite bath toys, and some of the newest on the market, that are bright and colourful to engage your child in bathtime.

Best shower bath toys

The Elephant Baby Shower is great for creating a positive bathing experience for little ones. Suitable from birth, you can use it to shower and wash your baby, but when they're big enough, they can use it as an amusing bath toy!

One customer wrote: "This is probably one of the best toy/useful items I could have ever ordered. I love this as a mini shower for my baby girl. She’s only 3 months and is amused at how it works...it’s the right pressure as well...This is definitely the best to gift someone because it is necessary and fun for your little one!"

Pros

  • Gentle and soothing flow of water
  • Portable

Cons

  • Battery operated
Suitable for ages:Birth to 18 months
  • Gentle water flow
  • Portable
  • Circulating water pump

Best spray station bath toys

The Submarine Spray Station toy that has a battery operated submarine for the bottom of the tub, and the activity station is at the side of the tub. With the squeeze of the diver shower handle, your little one can direct water flow to the activity station to funnel, spin and spray water!

One parent said: "Initial use was an absolute blast!...Subsequent uses were still engaging, and they’ve branched out into devising ways to create irritation using the molded lines and outcroppings in the tub...I love that this toy promotes independence along with rule-following and creativity."

Pros

  • Encourages children to explore cause and effect
  • Attaches to the bath side

Cons

  • Not suitable for rechargeable batteries
Suitable for ages:2 to 6 years
  • 1 x submarine water pump unit
  • 1 x spraying activity station
  • 1x removable funnel

Best bath toy for music

Part bath drum, part tambourine and part handheld maze, Octodrum is a three-in-one tub toy that engages musical minds. Although in water, the toy tilts very easily and goes down quickly, you'll still be able to upgrade your toddler's bath routine with maximum fun in the tub. This was Shortlisted in the 2022 Mother&Baby Awards in the Best Bathtime Product category.

Tested by mum Katherine for the Mother&Baby Awards 2022: "I would recommend this product as it provides a number of aspects including the ability to use it as a musical instrument and improves cognitive skills whilst using the beater to hit the drum surface. The bowl and be filled with water to demonstrate filling and pouring. I also really liked that the product would float allowing our child to entertain himself which keeps our hands free to wash him."

Read our Octodrum 3-in-1 Musical Bath Toy review.

Pros

  • Baby drum, tambourine, maze game bath toy in one! 
  • Includes 1 octopus bath drum and 1 drumstick

Cons

  • Only one colour to choose from
  • In water, the toy tilts very easily and goes down quickly

Best bath toy for role play

TOMY Toomies Foam Cone Factory TOMY / Amazon

With this very cool toy, kids can make their own pretend ice creams. Simply add a few drops of bubble bath into the cornet at the top, add water and your little one can pull the lever to start making foam ice cream. They can even add some pretend toppings from the shaker. So fun you'll want to join in too!

One parent said: "My children (1 and 7) absolutely love this. It is played with constantly through bathtime. It sticks well to the wall and doesn't fall off. The pieces haven't lost any of their print in the water and it even seems to have a slight gap underneath so it doesn't trap water and get yucky. All of the features work including bubbles, spinning, tap flowing. Even when closed, the sink slowly drips water out, but I find it useful that the children can't accidentally leave water in there for days."

Pros

  • Includes 4 suction cups to mount on bath tiles or bath tub as required
  • Kids can make their own pretend ice creams

Cons

  • Only suitable from 18 months of age

Best bath toy for motor skills

Matchstick Monkey Bathtime Boat SetAmazon
Price: $24.95

Matchstick Monkey Bathtime Boat Sets are the perfect bathtime companion for your little sailor. Ergonomically designed to fit perfectly into small hands, our boats and wobblers are soft and smooth to touch, encouraging early development, through honing their fine motor skills as they play. 

This was Shortlisted in the 2022 Mother&Baby Awards in the Best Bathtime Product category.

Tested by mum Shelley for the Mother&Baby Awards 2022; she said: "This is a nice well made bath toy. It's soft to touch, it is easy for my son to pick up and play with, the monkey characters are the perfect size for little hands. The part that makes this toy great is how easy it is to keep clean. They're at no holes in it for stale water to gather and fester, and the boat comes apart in half so it's really easy to get inside and clean it."

Read our full Matchstick Monkey Bathtime Boat Set review here.

Pros

  • Contains 1 bright toy boat and 1 colourful wobbling toy
  • Ergonomically designed and simple for toddlers to use

Cons

  • Suitable from 12 months old

Best bath toy game

Nuby Bath Time Octopus Amazon

Rrp: $8.99

Price: $6.88
Alternative retailers
Walmart$6.88View offer

This Nuby Bath Time Octopus is floating purple octopus with little toy rings, in the shape of fish, a rubber ring, and a starfish, for your little one to throw and try to hook over the tentacles. Great for dexterity and game playing, plus it's fun to swoosh around in the water. We'll overlook the fact that it doesn't have eight tentacles, though. This was Shortlisted in the 2018 Mother&Baby Awards in the Best Bathtime Product category. **Tested by mum Stephenie Beaumont for the Mother&Baby Awards 2018, she said: "**I think the character and shape of the product was great – my children loved the face of the octopus and trying to put the rings on his tentacles. It was a great size - big enough to handle, but not too huge to store away. It was easy to clean too."

Read our full review of the Nuby Octopus review here.

Pros

  • Comes with 3 rings to throw on the octopus’s tentacles
  • The octopus is fully sealed, meaning no water can go in 

Cons

  • Only two styles to choose from - Octopus and the Starfish

Best bath toy for character

Skip Hop Zoo Pull and Go Submarine JoJo Maman Bebe

Skip Hop's characters are a favourite at Mother&Baby HQ and this Skip Hop Zoo Pull and Go Submarine is just too much fun. Simply pull the string and watch the submarine scoot through the water.

One parent said: "My baby loves this toy, it’s been brilliant, as have all our Skip Hop toys."

Pros

  • Moving propeller to set sub in motion 
  • Teaches about cause and effect

Cons

  • Not suitable for under 1 year olds
Material:Plastic
Suitable for ages:1+ years
  • Pull string

Best bath toy for sensory

Etta Loves Natural Rubber Bath Toys 3-packEtta Loves

Designed to support babies' visual and cognitive development through their patterns, scales and colours, these Etta Loves Natural Rubber Bath Toys 3-Pack are hand-painted on one side with raised features on the reverse for a physical sensory experience as well as a visual one. Good for chewing as well as water play, they're fully sealed so no nasties can get in.

One parent wrote: "My 5 month loves these toys, she loves to chomp on them too! The only downside is they do smell of rubber initially, and it does seem to make the water smell a little too. But after a couple of weeks it had gone and I was told by Etta this nothing to worry about and no danger to the baby."

Pros

  • Support babies' visual and cognitive development through their patterns, scales and colours
  • Makes bath time sensory play time

Cons

  • Only comes in a 3 pack.
Material:Natural rubber
Suitable for ages:Birth+

Best bath toy for organisation

Munchkin Bath Toy Scoop Munchkin / Amazon

The Munchkin Bath Toy Scoop is technically not a toy, but your little one can still have fun playing with it! You can make it into a game, getting your little one to try to catch all the toys and help tidy up at the end of bathtime. It won Silver in the 2017 Mother&Baby Awards in the Best Bathtime Product category.

Tested by mum Hanna Marshall for the Mother&Baby Awards 2017; she said: "This makes light work of tidying up after bath time and contains the toys nicely when not in use. My sons have also loved using the scoop to play with during bath time! Little do they know they help me to tidy up!"

Read our Munchkin Bath Toy Scoop review here.

Pros

  • A quick and easy way to pick up bath toys
  • Tinted clear top allows you to see toys inside the scoop

Cons

  • This product works best on smooth surfaces

Best bath toy for Doc Mcstuffins fans

A must for any Doc McStuffins fans, this Doc McStuffins Bath Toy Set includes a bucket with straining lid and five figures, Dottie, Hallie, Chilly, Lambie, and Squeakers. Just what the doctor ordered.

Pros

  • Includes bucket with straining lid and five figures
  • Figures included: Dottie, Hallie, Chilly, Lambie, and Squeakers

Cons

  • Made from plastic
Material:Plastic
Suitable for ages:6+ months

Best submarine bath toy

This colourful yellow submarine can be submerged to create air bubbles. Plus, the cabin rotates when the submarine spins. It is a fun toy that helps develop motor skills and teaches cause and effect.

One parent wrote: "Super cute toy! My baby is obsessed with spinning things so it’s a great toy for that, also loves the little rain shower feature when you lift it out the water. It is a lot smaller than I expected, but that is a good thing as it takes up less space for storing away bath toys!"

Pros

  • Fun yellow submarine bath toy 
  • Just submerge to create air bubbles

Cons

  • The cabin spins when the submarine rotates, so is not suitable until 12 months of age
Suitable for ages:12+ months
Material:Plastic

Best bath toy for stacking

These 8pcs Stacking Cups Toy for Kids are a little different to the brightly coloured stackers you normally see. They're a subtle yet really nice colouring, meaning they won't look like an eyesore. They're brilliant quality, and can be stacked, knocked and even be used to play with in water and sand. Each stacker has two little holes for ensuring they drain and dry easy too.

Our Commercial Content Writer, Samantha, said: "These stacking cups not only look nice, but they a really great quality too. They don't feel cheap, and can actually withstand throws and drops by a toddler. My daughter has played with them in water and sand too and loves them."

Pros

  • Helps with coordination, visual and motor skills
  • Durable
  • Aesthetically nice colouring

Cons

  • Might be too light for children under 12 months
Material:Plastic
Suitable for ages:6+ months
  • Different colours
  • Durable

Best rubber ducks bath toy

Because everyone needs a rubber duck in the bath, the John Lewis & Partners Rubber Ducks, Pack of 6 will help encourage fine motor skills and hand to eye coordination. It will help them develop imaginative play and allows their inner storytelling skills to shine.

One customer wrote: "Lovely little ducks with a slight squeak. Small enough for toddler hands and nice colours."

Pros

  • Set of 6 multi-coloured rubber ducks 
  • Great for fun bath time

Cons

  • 6 months and above

Best bath toy for imaginative skills

Boon Bundle Building Bath Toy SetAmazon

Rrp: $29.99

Price: $27.48
Alternative retailers
Target$25.49View offer
Walmart$48.98View offer

With 13 toys in the set, this Boon Bundle Building Bath Toy Set will keep your little one entertained in the bath, learning about how water pours and falls between the tubes and all over the bathroom floor, no doubt. Use them separately or link them up to make a long waterfall tube, using the water to turn the cogs for more fun. They suction easily to the bathroom tiles.

A parent said: "My kids love these Boon pipes. We had the smaller pack for bathtime but after them squabbling over the 6 pieces, we upgraded to this large set: which has plenty to keep them busy. These are well made and easy to clean. A good stem toy and kids spend ages setting these up and testing water flows. By far our favourite bath toy. Highly recommended."

Pros

  • Includes 5 different brightly coloured pipes each with different functions for your toddler to explore and discover 
  • 3 multicoloured pipes each with a new unique shape to add to the collection

Cons

  • Only to be used in water
Suitable for ages:Birth to 8 years
  • 5 x different sized gears
  • 3 x multicoloured pipes

Best bath toy for melodies

A fun bath toy for your little one, this cute VTech Bubble Time Turtle Bath Toy releases bubbles in time with the music and sounds and features 12 melodies. It has two strong suction cups so the turtle can be attached to the side of the bath or bathroom tiles. Plus, one bottle of bubble mixture is included.

One review said: "This bath turtle is great fun. It comes with 1 bottle of bubble solution and it requires 3x aaa batteries (demo batteries included). It has 12 melodies and 4 sing-along songs. It has suction cups to the back so it sticks to the bath well. Well made and a fun bath time toy."

Pros

  • Features clown fish and light-up starfish buttons 
  • The turtle can easily attach to the side of the bath or bathroom tiles

Cons

  • Batteries not included
Suitable for ages:1+ years

Best bath toy for sprinkle effects

Chad Valley Bath Camera Activity Toy

Rrp: $10.00

Price: $7.99
Alternative retailers
Target$7.99View offer
Walmart$9.99View offer
Macy's$10.00View offer

These cute Skip Hop Zoo Stack and Pour Buckets with friendly-faces feature three different sprinkle effects for bath time fun. They are perfectly sized for little hands and will help to build motor skills.

One person wrote: "We go through so many bath toys as the water gets stuck inside them and goes mouldy. Therefore, I find that simple things like these little buckets and cups, are perfect and easy to keep clean. These have gone down really well with my 2 and 4 year old, keeping them entertained through bath times. The buckets are really small, but I think they are the perfect size. Bright and colourful, well made and each has a cute animal print on the front. Each bucket has a hole, and a number of holes underneath it, so they each drain the water out at different rates, which is fun for the kids."

Pros

  • Five buckets with three different sprinkles 
  • Easy grab handles

Cons

  • Only to be used in water in which the child is within its depth and under adult supervision
Suitable for ages:1+ years

Best bath activity toy

Cheese! This colourful camera activity toy will entertain your little one in the bath. They will love splashing about and making memories, with this creative bath toy.

One parent said: "My daughter is 16 months and loves this toy so much. She love the little squirting frog and the spinning wheel the most. It’s so fun with for her to play with in the bath."

Pros

  • Colourful camera activity toy
  • Encourages creativity

Cons

  • To be used under the direct supervision of an adult.

Best bath toy for lights

best bath toys Delacazy LED Automatic Spray Water Octopus Light Up BathAmazon

Rrp: $12.99

Price: $11.99

A fun bath toy for your little one! When the Delacazy LED Automatic Spray Water Octopus Light Up Bath toy comes into contact with water it will splash and the colourful lights will start to glow. The cute octopus comes with four replacement spray-heads, crown, octopus, puffer fish and starfish.

One reviewer wrote: "The additional pins are quite interesting as they all produce different jets of water. Fantastic for bath time fun."

Pros

  • Environmentally friendly 
  • The bath toy automatically sucks up water from the floor and squirts it out

Cons

  • The bath toy runs on 3 AAA batteries (not included) 

Best bath toy for music

A great bath set if your little one loves music! The Munchkin Bath Beats Musical Bath Toy Gift Set can create music, beats and sounds in and out of the bath. The set includes 1 ding-ray xylophone, 1 octo-drum rhythm toy and 2 starfish shakers. It also boasts durable rust-free construction so it will last bath after bath.

Review: Really glad I got my daughter some musical toys for bath time, they’re fab. What made it even better was her Aunty buying her a recorder for her birthday!"

Pros

  • Creates music, beats and sounds in and out of the bath 
  • Includes 1 dingray xylophone, 1 octodrum rhythm toy and 2 starfish shakers

Cons

  • Some mentioned they can sink easily
Suitable for ages:1+ years
  • Durable
  • Rust-treated

How to make bathtime safe

If your baby is very young, and can’t yet sit up, one way to make bath time even safer is to use a bath seat. They help support your baby and make it easier for you, leaving your hands free to do the soaping and scrubbing.

Did you know that mould grows on baby bath toys because they are kept in wet environments? The key to ensuring the mould is at bay is to clean bath toys and dry them off as best as you can after use. As you can imagine, this is easier said than done with these toys!

Make sure you use a bath or waterproof baby thermometer to check the temperature of the water.

Benefits of bath toys

We talk a lot about the benefits of a bedtime routine. Playing in the bath everyday has lots of advantages. From squeezing sponges or rubber ducks to improving fine motor skills and sensory development. Thanks to bath bombs and creative and self-expression opportunities, there's plenty of learning in this activity. You can easily pop them away with a good bath toy storage system too.

Choosing a few fun options will engage your little one into the joys of water play. This can be extended during the day with play using a washing-up bowl and moving on to a swimming pool when you’re both ready.

Other ways to make bathtime fun:

You don’t just have to use toys in the bath. There are lots of ways you and your baby can both have fun at bathtime, including:

  • Join your baby in the bath

  • Sing lots of songs

  • Make sponge sailboats

  • Use a sieve to make it rain

  • Hunt for treasure under the bubbles

  • Bath safe finger paints

Lily Anderson has contributed to various Bauer Media brands such as Mother&Baby Yours__, What’s The Best,Closer__, heat and Spirit and Destiny as a Deputy Commercial Content Editor since 2019 and currently works at CPSL Mind as a Deputy Campaigns and Communications Manager

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