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Kids Water Play and Sensory Play

Kids Water Play and Sensory Play

At Spa Da, we acknowledge that kids learn through their senses and a kid's environment is their best teacher. Creating a positive environment around water play stimulates your child’s creativity and cognitive development.” - Tara Abraham

Young kids learn through sensory play and bath bombs make water play a more enjoyable sensory experience. Bath bombs bring color and science to the bath tub experience and bath bombs can also be enjoyed in kiddy pools and in clear mixing bowls. To read more about summertime fun, check out our blog, Bath Bombs, Kiddy Pools & Water Play.

What is Sensory Play? 

Sensory play is how young people learn and it has a huge role in how neurological connections are made in the brain. Scientists have discovered that 90% of the human brain develops before we reach kindergarten and sensory activities are essential for preparing your child for structured school environments. The more we play with our kids, the better their outlook will be. 

For new moms or soon to be moms, sensory play involves activities that engage all of your child’s senses, sight, sound, taste, touch, and smell. Researchers have also discovered that babies are hard wired to learn through their environment by trial and error and imitating those around them, monkey see, monkey do. We understand parent’s want to have clarity when it comes to their child’s development and in this article, we’ll dive deep into what you can do to nurture your child’s early development through sensory play. More specifically, this early brain development is focused on building up your child’s motor, social skills, and language skills. Sensory play has also been connected to creating empathy in young kids and without adequate sensory play your child may struggle in social environments. 

What is sensory processing disorder?

An increasing number of children are being diagnosed with sensory processing disorder that affects their ability to learn and interact with their environment. These kids need extra attention and parents should contact childhood development experts to develop the best strategy for managing their child’s diagnosis. - If you’d like to talk to an expert, we highly recommend our friends over at the Child Mind Institute. They’re site is full of educational information for parents and if you live in NYC or San Francisco you can schedule an in person meeting. The Child Mind Institute also offers telehealth to parents in CA, CT, MA, NJ, and NY. If you’re not in one of those states and looking to connect with a childhood development expert please reach out to us at and we’ll try to connect you with an organization that is right for your family. If you’re a child development professional that would like to join our ambassador program please connect.    

Sensory Play Benefits

Sensory play is an excellent tool for managing a kid's arousal levels and should be the first option for managing hyperactivity and attention disorders. Better yet, sensory play doesn’t come with all the side effects that conventional hyperactivity treatments have. Sensory play is great for kids of all ages and activities will change as your child matures. It encourages early brain development, creates neurological connections, and puts your child in the best position to have a promising future. Water play and bath time are some of the best ways to engage your kid’s senses.  

Sensory Play Ideas

Anything that stimulates your child’s senses could be considered a sensory activity, but some are better than others and your child’s age and developmental stage will dictate what activities are best for their brain development. When choosing sensory activities be sure to follow your child’s lead and listen to what their desires are. Your child knows best and the best sensory activities will give your child full control of the creative process. Anything that can help a child learn can be a sensory activity and a list of popular sensory activities include playing with:

  • Water
  • Sand
  • Play-doh
  • Food (rice, noodles)
  • Pom poms
  • Paint
  • Ice or snow
  • Reading stories
  • Dancing
  • Mimicking or acting
  • Family puzzles

For a more complete list of sensory play ideas check out the Busy Toddler blog. Sensory activities don’t have to be messy, but some of the best experiences are.  

What is Water Play? 

Water play is the ideal multi sensory play activity that can be used to optimize your child’s brain development. 

“Baths are great sensory learning activities.” - Early Childhood Rocks

Many parents think of summertime or water tables when they hear ‘water play’, but water play can be done every day during bath time. Water play is arguably the most popular activity for childhood development, learning, and creating family memories. If you’re looking to buy a water table for your kid check our friends over at Lakeshore Learning, our go to spot for sensory and water play accessories (outside of bath bombs and kids bath sprinkles). 

Water play teaches your child science fundamentals and nourishes your child’s creativity and imagination. Babies and young kids love water play and us adults never outgrow it, very few people can resist our attraction to water. Water creates life and provides endless learning opportunities for children. Water has the unique ability to create joy and spending family time around water creates memories no matter if you're on a beach vacation, playing at a water

table or splash pad, or taking a bath. It is also an essential sensory play activity that nourishes healthy childhood development. Water play in the bathroom or outside of the bathroom engages these 5 senses and creates the perfect environment for children to learn cognitive, language and motor skills. As a result, your child will improve their ability to question, observe, and problem solve.

When playing with your child in the bath you should (1) imitate your child, (2) talk to your child and ask them questions, (3) give them the ability to make their own choices, and (4) support their water play as opposed to lead it. Studies have found that the sciences are best taught using an inquiry method and parents should encourage natural curiosity and questioning. All parents need to do is help their children explore the phenomena that naturally interests them. 

Benefits of Water Play

Water play is like traditional sensory play on steroids. Not only do kids get the sensory experience of the warm water, but they have a multi-sensory experiences associated with the sound of water, the feeling of being splashed by water, and the added sensory experience associated with bath toys and bath bombs. When water is added to sensory play it exposes your child to new sensory experiences and encourages the development of new motor skills such as splashing, filling, lifting, dumping, and pouring. Furthermore, water play introduces kids to the concept of floating and is a sensory activity that encourages creativity around science and experimentation. 

Water play stimulates your kid’s neurons and  provides a great learning environment for colors, shapes, smells, and textures. Extended bath time and water play provide valuable opportunities for nourishing your child’s imagination, emotions, and verbal skills. More importantly, kids bath bombs provide the foundation for understanding a handful of scientific concepts that include:

Tools for Water Play Include:

  • Kids Bath Bombs
  • Containers of various sizes
  • Funnels
  • Ladles
  • Basters
  • Droppers
  • Squeeze bottles
  • Toys that float
  • Toys that sink (Coins or pirate treasure)
  • Toys that are slimy in water
  • Sponges (bungee sponge)
  • Kids Bath Sprinkles 
  • Toys to blow bubbles
  • Shaving cream

Extended water play time is an ideal way to promote early sensory development in your child. Water play stimulates senses that cause neurons to fire and connections to occur. Positive water stimulation causes the brain to grow bigger and get stronger.

Water Play Activities

Outside of playing at a water table or in the bathroom, kids can also participate in the following water play activities. 

Washing Dishes: Washing dishes is a water play activity that we may wish our significant other was more skilled in, but tricking your children into washing dishes is a great way to get your cleaning chores done while spending time with your child. 

Toy Car Wash: Teaching your kids the importance of taking care of their toys is an important life lesson and setting up a toy car wash that is complete with fizzy bath bombs is a great activity for a rainy afternoon. If you have a toddler we highly recommend the toy car wash. 

Clean Clothes: Similar to washing dishes and cleaning toys, cleaning clothes is a great lesson that can be taught at an early age. This is best done during the summer and kids can clean their own clothes, along with the clothes of their favorite doll. After cleaning with soap and bubbles your kids can hang up their clothes to dry. 

How to Make The Most Out of Bath Time

When playing with your child in the bath you should (1) imitate your child, (2) talk to your child and ask them questions, (3) give them the ability to make their own choices, and 4 support their water play as opposed to lead it. 

Parents should try to set the mood prior to bath time and create an environment that is ideal for learning and having fun. It is highly encouraged that parents have water toys handy and use different size objects so kids can learn about what floats and what sinks. Parents who can

grab their kids' attention for long periods of time will make it easier for your child to focus later in life or in formal educational settings Kids bath bombs support healthy hygiene habits while giving your child an unstructured way to explore and experiment with colors. Many parents claim bath bombs are a creative outlet to their child’s imagination.

Pro Parent Tip 1: Play music during bath time and when your child gets to the right age allow them to pick and choose their playlists.

Pro Parent Tip 2: Ask your child to observe, describe, predict, and theorize about their water play time. Before dropping a Kids Bath Bomb ask your child to predict what color the bath water will change too. Engaging your child in meaningful conversations will nurture their cognitive development and create new brain connections. Parents who raise questions and create problematic scenarios will help their kids develop problem solving skills.

Studies have found that the sciences are best taught using an inquiry method and parents should encourage natural curiosity and questioning. All parents need to do is help their children explore the phenomena that naturally interests them. Many parents find that their child flourishes in water environments and this may improve fine motor skills.

If you’re looking for more parenting information about how to make the most out of bath time check out our blog, Montessori Parenting and Kids Bathing.

Kids Bath Bombs and Learning 

Kids bath bombs provide a fantastic opportunity for teaching your child colors, but as we’ve learned, they’re also a tool that can encourage sensory play that involves stirring, mixing, pouring, squeezing, squirting, scrubbing, making bubbles, and even painting. Spa-Da is a family first company that understands the profound impact that bath time can have on all parties involved. Our goal is to create lifelong memories around water plays and sensory development. Our kids bath bombs and kid’s sprinkles are the ideal tool to make bath time exciting and to optimize your child’s sensory play. 

Kids can learn about buoyancy, water displacement, waves, surface tension, light spectrum, transparency, dissolving, organic chemistry, and density. While playing with your child it is important to ask thoughtful questions and stay present throughout the entire bath time experience. For your child, bath time also releases energy and bath bombs can promote a sense of calm after bath time.

Water play will improve the cognitive, verbal, and social skills of your child. Using bath bombs adds to the bathing experience and stimulates new sensory connections for your developing kids. Bath bombs are also fun activities for groups of kids and will make you the cool mom when your kids begin to have their first sleepovers. When water and bath time becomes a group activity it encourages cooperation, sharing, and healthy social skills. Start using Spa-Da’s Kids Bath Bombs to kickstart your child’s development and get the most out of bath time.

Safety Disclaimer 

Never leave a baby or child unattended around water or in the bathroom