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10 best bath toys for babies and toddlers: Make tub time more fun

From educational aids to sustainable games, our tiny testers loved these engaging top picks

Rebecca Moore
Tuesday 07 September 2021 11:48 BST
<p>They should be bright, comical and developmental</p>

They should be bright, comical and developmental

Have you a tub enthusiast or bath hater on your hands? Many kids go through a love hate relationship with bath time, so the best way to keep interests at a peak is by making bath time fun. As parents, there’s only so much we can do, so... it’s time to call on bath toys.

But what makes a good bath toy? Well, we believe they should be bright, comical and educational, but most of all they need to be engaging enough to see you through the cleaning session.

Many also teach cause and effect depending on how the water is used, while others simply spark imaginations. You’ll need to consider the cleanliness of the toy in question too, bath toys should be easy to dry to avoid leaving soggy toys at the bottom of the basket or bath.

Not only will you want the toys to last but you’ll also want to keep mould at bay. Our two-year-old and four-year-old testers helped us to take the plunge on finding the very best bath toys.

How we tested

We were looking for toys that had that fun factor, after all, that’s what childhood baths should be all about; toys that aid development or educate, and also bath toys that possess high quality and can be played with again and again. We also gave extra points for those allowing sustainable play.

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Without further ado, it’s time to make baths more fun.

The best bath toys in 2021 are:

  • Best overall – Infantino senso plug n play plumber set: £15,
  • Best for bathtime drawing – Kitpas bath set with sponge: £25,
  • Best colourful watermill – Gowi watermill for bath: £16.29,
  • Best mould-free ducks – Cuddleduck baby bath toy and teether: £12.99,
  • Best for imaginative play – Quut To The Moon and Back puzzle friends: £18.50,
  • Best aesthetic bath toys –Liewood 2-pack rose bear and penguin bath toys: £19,
  • Best for promoting development – TOMY toomies octopals: £10.99,
  • Best sustainable option – Plan Toys sailing boat polar bear: £12.95,
  • Best water squirting bath toy – Munchkin ocean bath squirters 8 pack: £10.49,
  • Best for boosting concentration – Janod ducky fishing game: £22,

Infantino senso plug n play plumber set

Best: Overall

How cute is this bath time buddy? And trust us, he gets cuter as he provokes plenty of laughter from your little one. There are 16 pieces in total to be assembled, which may require help from an adult, then it’s full steam ahead. Pour water in the funnel above the robot’s head and watch his googly eyes roll – a favourite feature for our two year-old-tester, see the fountain cup fill with water, and water wheel cause a splash.

For £15 this bath toy offers so much entertainment, and the detachable shower was a real hit and by turning the taps on and off kids can learn cause and effect. Suitable for those aged 10-months plus, we think this is best suited to those aged 18-months to about three years when they can get stuck in independently.

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Kitpas bath set with sponge

Best: For bathtime drawing

Mini artists don’t have to take a break just because they’re bathing, thanks to this creative contraption from Japanese eco-friendly art brand Kitpas. While the thought of your child scribbling over your bath tub may have once filled you with dread, with this set kids aged three plus can draw to their heart’s content, then simply wash it away with the fish-shaped sponge.

Designed to float, there’s no panic if you drop one of the non-toxic crayons, plus they also have a waterproof paper wrapping, so they don’t go mushy if they are left in the water for a while. It was lovely to see our four-year-old tester use this time to be creative. When bath time is over, simply place all the bits back in its handy storage pouch which can be hung up with suction pads.

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Gowi watermill for bath

Best: Colourful watermill

Watermills hold such wonderment, no matter your age and it’s safe to say this one will take bath-time fun to new heights. Our four-year-old tester was fixated on watching the water travel through all the moving parts. Simply pour water into the funnel at the top and watch it gush down, causing the brightly coloured cogs to spin and the tipper in the middle to move the water left and right.

It connects using three suction pads at the back, and we were a little dubious as to how these would hold out, but we needn’t have been as it sticks well to the tiles and is super sturdy. The bright bold colours certainly caught our young ones attention who loved the details on the cogs which made her “eyes go dizzy”. Suitable for those aged 12-months plus this is perfect for toddlers and preschoolers.

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Cuddleduck baby bath toy and teether

Best: Mould-free ducks

While this may look like just another rubber duck to the naked eye... this one is actually rather special, and that’s because unlike a lot of bath toys there’s no hole in the base which means it’s a mould-free zone. Handmade using natural rubber, and painted using baby-safe vegetable-based paint, this mighty duck contains no nasties, it’s even been recommended for teething babies who want something to chew on, making it safe to use from the get go. The Cuddleduck is lovely and soft to touch and is wonderfully squishy too.

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Quut To The Moon and Back puzzle friends

Best: For imaginative play

Most of the time babies and toddlers just want something they can splash about in the tub, but this 11-piece set goes beyond that allowing little ones aged 10-months plus to get creative and build their own bath toys (and do plenty of splashing too). Stick the cosmic-inspired shapes to the side of the bath or build a rocket to save the finger puppet... imaginations can reach new intergalactic heights.

Made from soft EVA foam, the shapes bob along nicely, while the two little finger puppet dolls are made from a durable plastic – which is, of course, BPA, phthalates and latex-free. This set is great for developing fine motor skills while keeping toddlers stimulated.

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Liewood 2-pack rose bear and penguin bath toys

Best: Aesthetic bath toys

Minimalist Danish brand Liewood has an effortless Nordic design aesthetic in each collection, in fact it's even found a way for bath toys to look cool enough to feature on the holy Insta grid. Not only do they keep baby paraphernalia stylish, they also keep it sustainably... these bath toys have been made using a natural rubber latex.

Both characters have a hole-free design which prevents the build-up of mould as no stagnant water lurks inside. Adequately squishy and designed to float, our four year old tester was a big fan of the polar bear, chilling out in his laid back position; we only wish our bath times reflected this.

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TOMY toomies octopals

Best: For promoting development

A child’s development has been well considered with this bath toy. You get a floating bath island toy, and at the helm is a mummy octopus who is a sprinkling cup, and her eight octopals. Stick the brightly coloured octopals to the side of the bath or tiles, then let your little one match the number to the base – a great way to integrate some learning into bath time. Great for toddlers and preschoolers, each octopal also squirts water (be prepared!), and we love the array of cheeky faces.

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Plan Toys sailing boat polar bear

Best: Sustainable option

Set sail with Mr Polar Bear and his impressive boat, OK to the naked eye the boat might not win you over, but did you know all Plan Toys are made from natural rubberwood? That means the trees no longer produce latex and to keep the wood pure, no fertilizer is added to the soil three years prior to cut the trees down, making this the most sustainable bath toy we tested. Designed for those aged 12-months plus this makes a fun addition to the tub!

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Munchkin ocean bath squirters 8 pack

Best: Water squirting bath toys

Bath time adventures will unfold with this fun pack. From jellyfish to turtles, these sea creatures are all here to make bath time a whirl. Suitable for ages nine months plus, they offer a simple way to pack in plenty of giggles in the tub. Perfectly sized for little hands to hold and squeeze, each creature is brightly coloured, floats and the best bit... squirts water – which had our two-year-old tester in hysterics.

They’re well made too and their squidgy nature means they’re safe for plenty of splashing too. Remember to clean them though, as there is a hole it means they can become mouldy if not taken care of.

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Janod ducky fishing game

Best: For boosting concentration

Your little one certainly won’t mind sharing their bath with six new duck friends, but can they catch them? Designed for those aged two to five years, our four-year-old tester had a blast trying to hook the ducks with the two wooden fishing poles. It’s a great way to boost concentration levels as this game is harder than it looks.

If distraction prevails your child will love discovering that each duck is also a water squirter. While these are great in the bath, they also make a great game for the garden or for birthday parties. They also come in a handy bag for storage purposes.

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The verdict: Bath toys for babies and toddlers

Infantino’s senso plug n play plumber set is the ultimate bath time buddy who not only engages little ones but keeps them giggling too.

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