Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.
Your baby has been taking baths since they were born because, well, baths are important for general hygiene. But baths are good for other things, too—such as helping to establish a nighttime routine that helps calm baby and clue them into the fact that bedtime is near. Bath time is also a wonderful opportunity for play. Simply splashing around can teach babies things about how their bodies operate, different textures, cause and effect, and more.
“Any type of toy that requires children to use their hands can help encourage hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills,” says Dr. Sanam Hafeez, a neuropsychologist in New York City. As such, there are a number of fun bath toys that can both promote those burgeoning skills and make getting washed up feel like less of a task.
Here are the best bath toys for babies, toddlers, and older kids.
Best Baby Bath Toy: Munchkin Float and Play Bubbles Bath Toy
Bubbles are always fun, and these ones won’t pop! Instead, they’ll delight babies with their spinning, rattling fun. The set comes with four plastic bubbles, each one featuring a colorful character or contraption in the middle for bathtime magic. They float, spin, rattle and roll to stimulate all of their senses and encourage hand-eye coordination.
There are no small parts, and there are no holes to let water in. They’re recommended for ages 4 months and up, but older kids will have fun with them too. They’re simply popping possibilities for bathtime fun.
Best Toddler Bath Toy: Boon Jellies Suction Cup Bath Toys
For a splishin’, splashin’, squishy good time in the tub, there are these little jellyfish. Don’t worry, they won’t sting, but they do bring endless possibilities for stacking, sorting, creative fun. The set comes with nine brightly colored jellyfish, each equipped with a suction cup that allows them to stick to the tub wall or to each other.
They're recommended for ages 1 and up, but older kids will be jelly when they see these and might want some of their own. They’re also fun to play with outside the tub.
Best Duck: Munchkin White Hot Safety Bath Ducky
Every kid needs a rubber duckie for bathtub fun and this duck not only provides entertainment for babies and beyond it also alerts mom and dad if the water is too hot by the word "hot" appearing on the bottom of the toy. This toy is easy to grasp for the littlest of fingers making it a great first toy for your baby, plus it doesn't have any holes in it.
Best for Older Kids: Crayola Bathtime Fun Bundle
For colorful, creative bath time fun, this set from Crayola delivers. It comes with five twistable bath crayons in bright, fun colors like Little Boy Blue & Asparagus Green to draw and color on the tub and shower wall with all sorts of creative creations. The fun doesn’t stop there, though, as it also comes with 60 fizzing bath tablets that turn the water all sorts of fantastic colors. Cleanup is easy, as it simply washes off when you wipe everything down with water.
The bathtub is their canvas. Who knows what kind of amazing works of art they will create while getting squeaky clean in the process. The only downside to this bathtime set is they may never want to get out of the tub.
Best Foam Letters: JOYIN 51 Pieces Educational Bath Letters
A staple in bathtubs for decades, foam bath letters and numbers are a great way for kids to learn important skills while they’re having fun and getting clean. Basically, they’re the triple threat of bathtime. This set goes a step further as it not only comes with 26 floating letters and 10 floating numbers, sea creatures, and transportation shapes that stick to the tub wall, but it also comes with a mesh bag for storage.
There’s plenty of room in the bags for other toys too, and there are also spaces for things like shampoo, soap and body wash. The bags attach to the wall of the tub with powerful suction cups to make clean-up time extra easy.
Best for Sports Fans: 3 Bees & Me Bath Toy Basketball Hoop & Balls Set
They shoot, they score, and everyone wins as kids get clean while playing. Kids who just can’t seem to get enough court time can take the game to the tub with this fun bathtub basketball set. It comes with three balls and a hoop. The hoop hooks securely to the faucet, so you don’t have to worry about suction cups without enough suction stalling the action.
The balls don’t have any holes, and there are no open spots on the hoop for water to get trapped in. You just rinse them off and let them dry until it’s time for the next game. Recommended for ages 3 and up, this bath toy is a slam dunk for any little baller.
Best Book: BabyBibi Floating Baby Bath Books
Rub, a dub dub, books in the tub! Now kids can practice their reading skills and get clean at the same time. There are four books included in the set: “Numbers & Letters,” “Colors & Shapes,” “Ocean Friends” and “Happy Fruits.” Each one is filled with bright, fun images that teach kids important skills they’ll need for preschool and beyond. This set adds extra fun too as the floating books make fun squeaking noises when pressed as the kids are getting squeaky clean.
The books are recommended for ages 1 and up. We just want to know when they’re going to start making plastic adult novels for our reading/bathing pleasure.
Best for Fine Motor Skills: Nuby Octopus Hoopla Bathtime Fun Toys
Bathtime isn't just about good clean fun it is also a time for your child to have a sensory experience like feeling the water and playing with toys that sink, squirt and more. This fun octopus set helps children 18 months and up fine-tune their hand-eye coordination skills as they try and place the rings on the octopus's legs. Beyond the tub, this is also a fun outdoor activity when you fill up the kiddie pool.
What to Look For in a Bath Toy
In and around water, safety is paramount. As with any toy, be sure you’re not giving babies toys with small parts they could choke on, says Hafeez. And unless specifically intended for use in the bath, never use battery-operated toys in water, as this can cause batteries to erode. It should go without saying, but never use electric toys in water, either. Beyond that, be sure to wash and air dry toys between each use to avoid mold and mildew growth. You may also want to skip the squeezable bath toys, since they’re particularly hard to keep clean.
According to the American Academy of Pediatricians (AAP), young infants don't really need bath toys—just being in the water is exciting enough. But once a baby is old enough to sit in a regular bathtub, toys like containers, floating toys, even waterproof books are key. Be sure to check manufacturer packaging for the recommended age to ensure the toys you choose don’t have parts that are too small for young babies. This will also help you gauge whether a toy may be too elementary for older children.
Toys don’t need to be complicated to have great educational value. Any type of toy that requires children to use their hands can help encourage hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills, says Hafeez. There are plenty of bath toys that meet this criteria. Look for sorting toys, toys with knobs and levers, or even small stacking cups.
What are the most affordable bath toys?
Bath time doesn't need to be expensive. Plenty of toys are affordable and safe for your baby and can last for years. This means that many people resell their toys at garage sales, online marketplaces, and more after their baby outgrows them. Make sure the second-hand toys are in good condition and thoroughly sanitize them before giving them to your baby.
What are the most durable bath toys?
Toys without moving parts or music are going to be the most durable types of bath toys. Solid items such as cups, floating alphabet letters, and solid figurines are more likely than other toys to last longer. They are also less likely to break if your baby throws them.
What are the easiest bath toys to clean?
Stay away from toys that absorb, squirt, or suck up water; these are very difficult to clean. The inside of these toys are usually inaccessible, which allows mildew and mold to grow. Additionally, toys that don't have a lot of crevices or holes in them will save you from having to find a tool to clean those small spaces.
How can I find bath toys that are safe for my baby?
Because babies are likely to put their toys in their mouths, stay away from anything that could have toxic chemicals, paints, lead, or small parts that can become dislodged or break off. 100% natural rubber toys are your safest bath toy options. Shop local stores that carry baby toys, ask fellow parents for suggestions, and look at the label to see where toys manufactured to help avoid purchasing a bath toy that could potentially be unsafe.