Before I was a mama, I was a pre-school teacher. I remember when I was pregnant and doing projects with my pre-schoolers, dreaming about doing similar projects with my own little one. Fast forward to now, and my daughter has made it pretty clear that she’s not into focused learning activities. Anytime I put out focused materials and attempt to work on teaching a concept of some sort, she runs off to explore something totally different. Part of this is probably because she is still a little bit young, but part of it is simply her personality. She’s a busy kid and doesn’t particularly enjoy slowing down to stop. Because of this, I have learned to embrace teachable moments in the everyday. Here are a few ways we use bathtime for teachable moments.
*Wash the body parts
Bathtime is an ideal time to teach little ones the names of their body parts. We’ve been doing this ever since our daughter was a tiny thing, and now that she’s a toddler she loves taking her washcloth and waiting for me to tell her which body parts to wash. Her personal favorite is washing her elbows…or rather “eh-bow”.
*Writing on the wall
Perhaps your little one won’t sit still long enough to work on recognizing their shapes or letters, but you can use those fun bath crayons to have a little mini lesson right on the walls of your tub. Write letters, numbers, shapes or whatever else you so desire on the walls and then talk about them with your child. Since it’s bathtime, you have a captive audience!
*Stacking and pouring
We have a little set of stacking cups that we keep in the tub. It’s a great way to talk about big and small. Often I’ll hold up two different-sized stacking cups and ask which one is big and which one is little. It’s also a great way to talk about cause and effect and transference as you both pour water back and forth between the vessels.
What about you? Do you have any suggestions for using bathtime as a teachable moment? I’d love to hear!