First, some basics from the Mayo Clinic: Don’t go crazy with bath time. A newborn should be bathed maybe three times a week, otherwise you risk giving your infant dry skin. The same applies to toddlers. As for older kids, per the American Academy of Dermatology, kids ages six to 11 should bathe two to three times a week as well.
And while shampoo may be tearless, bath time can still cause plenty of sobbing. Kids have a natural fear of being submerged in a tub of water. Parents have a natural fear of going deaf from their kids’ screams echoing off of the bathroom wall. A properly deployed (and properly cleaned) bath toy is one of the best ways to prevent everyone’s fears from coming true. Rubber ducks are the classic choice, but don’t limit yourself. Here are the best bath toys for babies and toddlers.
RELATED: The Complete Fatherly Guide to Bath Time
Best Bath Toys for Toddlers and Kids Oli & Carol Bubbles The Sea Horse
Two reasons to love this baby bath toy: It's made from natural rubber and there's no holes, so therefore nowhere for mold to grow and thrive.
Buy Now $16.85
This bath toy is made with food-grade dyes and because it’s rubber, it’s safe for kids to chew, too.
Yookidoo Baby Bath Toy Spin and Sort
How brilliant is this? A bath toy that attaches and draws water from the tub, thus creating an endless aquatic stream to keep your kid entertained.
Buy Now $29.95
Kids learn to sort, spin gears, and boost their hand-eye coordination by using the cups to collect water from the spout. And because kids turn the water flow on and off, they learn cause and effect.
Skip Hop Moby & Friends Showerhead for Kids
To avoid any shower drama, we suggest investing in this sweet little starfish shower attachment, which has a gentle spray to rinse off soap and shampoo.
Buy Now $20.00
This shower head attachment has a diverter that lets you switch between your showerhead and the hand-held sprayer, and because kids don’t love the kind of water pressure adults appreciate, this one gives you a gentle, light, steady spray. And it gets kids used to transitioning from the bath to the shower.
MooToys Flower Waterwheel Bath Toy
This bath toy suctions to the wall, and kids can use it as a mini sprinkling can, turn dials, and create a steady stream of water that travels through the toy and into the tub.
Buy Now $11.97
Not every toy needs to be educational. This one, though, is both fun and can teach kids about water pressure and gravity.
Boon Jellies Suction Cup Bath Toys
Kids can use these suction cup tentacles to stick these jellies to the tub, the wall, and onto each other.
Buy Now $9.56
These little jellyfish don’t sting, but they do stick. Kids will love stacking them onto each other into giant jelly towers, and sticking them all over the tub and shower walls.
WowWee Pinkfong Baby Shark Bath Squirt Toy
What makes bath time less boring? Why, this set of four baby shark toys of course: Baby Shark, Mommy Shark, Daddy Shark and William!
Buy Now $9.84
The sharks squirt water out of their mouths. Thankfully, they do this without breaking into song.
Skip Hop Baby Bath Toy Light-Up Unicorn
All you need to know about this baby bath toy is that it lights up when it touches the water.
Buy Now $6.00
You can choose among other critters, but we’re partial to this mythical creature. It has multicolor lights and is soft and squeezable. Wheeeee!
Munchkin Sea Spinner Wind-Up Shark Bath Toy
This baby shark (we're sensing a theme here) floats, swims and spins after your kid winds up the bottom fin to activate movement.
Buy Now $5.00
And by winding up the bath toy, your child just might hone his or her hand-eye coordination skills. So it’s a win-win.
Yookidoo Bath Toy
This will probably (hopefully) be the most expensive bath toy you’ll ever purchase, but it's wroth it.
Buy Now $29.95
The battery operated toy attaches to the tub, creating a water circulation pumping that draws water through the submarine to the shower head and circulating the water flow into a funnel that creates chain reaction of silly sprays that will keep your toddler entertained — and in the tub longer than they need to be there.
Munchkin Catch and Score Basketball Bath Toy
What's better than oddly cute critters? Why, floating critters with a net to catch them, of course.
Buy Now $7.73
Kids catch their creatures in a net, and practice hand-eye coordination while doing it.
Munchkin Arctic Polar Bear Bath Toy
Brilliant! A ring toss for the tub!
Buy Now $8.99
The polar bear is weighted to float facing up and kids toss rings on its legs or stack them on its belly.
Ubbi Interchangeable Mold Free Bath Toys
Kids mix and match the tops and bottoms of these bath toys, which are also dishwasher-safe.
Buy Now $9.94
Sure, these are fun. And they’re easy to clean. But they also teach kids color-matching and hand-eye coordination.
Hape E0209 Feed Me Bath Frog Toy, Multicolor
Hape makes sensational toys, and this bath frog helps toddlers learn all about shapes.
Buy Now $21.99
The bath frog suctions to your tub, and your toddler inserts the pieces into the correct slots to feed it.
Learning Resources Sail Away Shapes, Set of 8
This 16-piece set includes eight hulls and eight sails, which link together to form a sailboat parade.
Buy Now $19.70
Boats for the bathtub. Groundbreaking. But these boats have a neat trick: The removable masts allow your toddler to match the shapes on the hulls to those on the masts, as well as match colors.
Elegant Baby Bath Time Fun Rubber Water Squirties
These animals float and squirt water, which makes them perfect for the tub (or the pool).
Buy Now $14.99
Unlike other squirt toys, these aren’t junky, and the animals actually look like … elephants and rhinos.
Fred KOI TOY Light-Up Bath Goldfish
You don't need to worry about feeding this fish, which lights up the second it hits the water.
Buy Now $15.00
This fishy friend looks entertainingly similar to the real koi you would find in a sushi restaurant’s garden pond, but it does way more than just swim around your bathtub. The second it touches the water, the fish lights up in a hue of rainbow colors — making it more fanciful for fun than a normal animal floaty.
ALEX Bath Beep Beep Stickers in The Tub Bath Toy
These faux stickers attach to the tub only when they're wet, which is a neat trick.
Buy Now $14.61
These “stickers” only cling to bathtub walls when wet — perfect for convincing your toddler to get into the water. The Beep Beep edition of these bathtub stickers feature roads, an ice cream truck, motorcycle, school bus, racecars, and road signs so your little one can create their own road system and take a journey.
Fat Brain Toys DripDrip Bath Toy
Toddlers stick the suction cup rings to the bathtub wall one above the other and then arrange the three reservoirs and the propeller any way they want. They learn cause and effect, as water travels through the cups at different speeds.
Buy Now $24.95
It’s like a science lab slash water park for your tub.
Munchkin Caterpillar Spillers Stacking and Straining Cups Bath Toy
These stacking cups link up, stack up, strain, and pour water — all without you having to worry about them trapping water and molding.
Buy Now $5.49
The cups nest within each other and allow toddlers to create all sorts of play patterns.
Green Toys Rescue Boat with Helicopter
This four-piece set comes with both a rescue boat and helicopter, as well as two captains who can perform any bathtub rescue mission your child can think up.
Buy Now $24.50
The set is made of recycled milk jugs and can be washed in your dishwasher to prevent soap scum and mold from building up.
Boon Whale Pod Drain and Storage Bath Toy Scoop
This multifunctional tool is a mountable bath toy holder with ample space to store and air dry all those toys, and also the best toy in the tub.
Buy Now $25.99
Because kids always prefer the box the stuff comes in over the actual stuff. Oh, and it scoops water to rinse your kid.
Munchkin Float and Play Bubbles Bath Toy
These floating bubbles have toys inside that spin and rattle. They keep babies entertained and stimulated their senses.
Buy Now $7.70
They’re fun, and they’re the perfect size for baby hands to move around.
Moluk Plui Rain Cloud Tub Toy
You fill this toy with water, let it rain, and stop the rain when you cover the top hole.
Buy Now $12.89
That’s not what the weatherman meant by, “Chance of showers,” but you shouldn’t have to pray for actual rain every time you want to get your kid clean. This toddler bath toy can also cleverly illustrate basic physics and the water cycle to your kid, so it doubles as an educational tool.
SoapSox Jackson The Whale Baby Bath Toy Sponge
Stuffed animals that double as wash mitts? Genius.
Buy Now $11.99
SoapSox are stuffed animals that can go in the tub. Better still, they transform into a scrub mitt. Not a fan of hippos? SoapSoxs come in dolphins, sharks, Disney characters, and more.
HABA Bubble Bath Whisk Orange
You crank this toy to create bubbles and more bubbles.
Buy Now $10.99
If the seas are too calm for your little Ahab, this bubble bath whisk will stir things up.
Skip Hop Zoo Bath Pull and Go Submarine, Monkey
Unlike other pull-and-go toddler bath toys on the market that pull but don’t go, Skip Hop’s monkey-in-a-sub actually does zip across the tub.
Buy Now $6.49
Not only that, but it encourages fine motor skills in the kid who’s yanking the string.
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