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How to Make Homemade Bath Toys for Kids

Make bath time fun with these homemade bath toys.

Make bath time fun with these homemade bath toys.

Homemade Toys for Bath Time Fun

As a stay at home mom, I am always looking for budget-friendly ways to have fun with my kids and bath time is no exception to this rule. I recently noticed that many of our bath toys needed to be replaced, so I came up with a few craft projects to make some fun homemade toys without breaking the bank.

If you are interested, read further for a list of supplies and step-by-step directions to create foam bath letters, a fun bathtub fishing game, cute animal shower caps, and a cool pirate ship to take those favorite action figures for a sail around the tub.

Our homemade bath letters and numbers,

Our homemade bath letters and numbers,

How to Make Foam Bath Letters

A fun and educational bath toy for kids of all ages is foam bath letters. My boys have always enjoyed sticking these foam toys all over the bath tub wall while trying to create new words. I recently noticed our set had seen better days and was missing a few important letters. Not wanting to pay another 10 dollars for a new set, I stopped by our local Dollar Tree to pick up a pack of brightly colored craft foam sheets to make our homemade letters. Below is a list of supplies you will need and directions for creating your own set.

Supplies:

  • Colored craft foam sheets
  • Letter and number stencils
  • Pen or pencil
  • Scissors

Directions:

  1. Using a pen or pencil, trace your letter and number stencils onto the craft foam sheets. Since our stencils were not big enough, I used our old bath set as the stencils.
  2. Cut out the letters and numbers with a pair of scissors. I also cut out some math symbols to help my first grader with his addition and subtraction.
  3. Insert the foam letters and numbers into the water and let your kids have some fun sticking them all over the tub walls.

Educational Bath Games

You can play several fun games with the foam bath letters and numbers to help children learn:

  • Spelling - Create different words with the letters.
  • Reading - Put small words together to create sentences.
  • Counting - Identify each number and count to 10.
  • Math - Use math symbols to create simple math problems.
Our finished bath tub fishing game.

Our finished bath tub fishing game.

How to Make a Bath Tub Fishing Game

Another idea for bath time fun is to create this cool bath tub fishing game for your kids. Similar to the activity we had at my son's ocean themed birthday party, I made a smaller and slightly different version of this game for the bath tub. After you have constructed the pole and cut out the craft foam fish, your kids will enjoy working on their hand-eye coordination as they try to line up the magnets to catch a fish. Here are the supplies you will need and directions for creating this bath game.

Supplies:

  • Small pole (wooden or plastic)
  • String
  • Small round magnets
  • Craft foam sheets
  • Black marker
  • Scissors
  • Glue

Directions:

  1. To create the fishing pole, tie a string around the end of a small wooden or plastic pole. Tie a magnet to the end of the string.
  2. To make the fish, draw the outline and mouth with a black marker on brightly colored craft foam sheets. Cut out each fish shape with a pair of scissors.
  3. Glue a small round magnet to each fish to create the eye. I would suggest using a thicker magnet for the eyes. Our magnets were thin making it difficult for our pole to pick up the fish. If you have this same problem, add a paper clip to the tail of the fish for easier pick up.
Our finished shark and whale shower caps.

Our finished shark and whale shower caps.

How to Make Animal Shower Caps

The next homemade bath toy is a fun craft project for parents to make with their kids. All you need is a little imagination to turn a plain shower cap into a fun animal that your child can wear in the bath tub. My boys wanted an ocean animal theme so we came up with our blue shark and black whale shower caps. Here are a list of supplies and directions for creating a fun animal shower cap for your child.

Supplies:

  • Shower cap
  • Waterproof paint
  • Paintbrushes
  • Craft foam sheet
  • Scissors
  • Balloon
  • Tape

Directions:

  1. Blow up a balloon and tape the end down on newspaper or a paper towel to protect your table from paint. Fit the shower cap over the balloon.
  2. To create the shark, paint the eyes, mouth, and teeth using red, white, and black paint. When these parts are dry, finish painting the rest of the cap with blue paint.
  3. To create the whale, paint the eyes and mouth using white and black paint. When these parts are dry, finish painting the rest of the cap with black paint.
  4. Cut a large triangle out of a craft foam sheet to use as the fin for your shark or whale. Paint the fin with either blue or black paint to match your ocean animal.
  5. Tape the fin on both sides to make it stand on top of the shower cap. Use either blue or black paint to help blend in the tape on the fin. Make sure the paint is completely dry before use.

Animal Shower Cap Ideas

Farm AnimalsSafari AnimalsOcean Animals

Cow

Monkey

Shark

Duck

Giraffe

Whale

Pig

Zebra

Fish

Horse

Elephant

Dolphin

Dog

Hippo

Crab

Cat

Rhino

Octopus

Frog

Tiger

Turtle

Our finished pirate ship for the bath tub.

Our finished pirate ship for the bath tub.

How to Make a Pirate Ship Bath Toy

Our final homemade bath toy is a pirate themed craft project to make with your kids. Turn a couple of plastic water bottles into a fun ship complete with a sail to carry your action figures around the tub. This budget-friendly bath toy was a big hit with both of my little mateys. Below is a list of supplies and directions for creating this ship.

Supplies:

  • Plastic water bottles (2)
  • Duck tape
  • Craft foam sheet
  • Popsicle stick
  • Scissors

Directions:

  1. Remove the labels and wash the outside of the water bottles. Once dry, wrap Duck tape around both ends of the bottles to secure them together.
  2. Cut a hole in the middle of both water bottles. The size of these holes will depend on the size of the action figures you want to insert.
  3. Cut a craft foam sheet into the sail shape. Since we used pirate themed Duck tape, I cut 2 squares of the skull and crossbone design - one for the front design of the sail and one to attach the popsicle stick to the back of the sail.
  4. After attaching the popsicle stick, insert the sail between the 2 bottles near the taped part by the caps. Place the action figures into the holes and your kids are ready to sail the high seas!

Pirate Themed Duck Tape

DIY Bath Toys

As you can see, all of the above DIY bath toys are super easy to make and very budget-friendly. Already having many of the needed craft supplies at home, I spent a little over $3.00 on four homemade toys that had my boys begging to take a bath every night this week.

If you are looking for more fun and inexpensive craft ideas to make with your kids, be sure to check out Budget-Friendly Crafts for Kids to Make. This article will give you 5 more art projects to keep your kids entertained without spending a fortune.

I hope you have found some fun homemade bath toys to make for your kids. If you have any questions or comments about any of the above projects, feel free to leave these in the comment section below.

Bath Toy Poll

Comments

Sarah Forester from Australia on February 11, 2014:

Wow, can I borrow just half of your creativity? These are amazing!

Alissa Roberts (author) from Normandy, TN on August 18, 2012:

Aww thanks so much hisandhers! Your sweet comments made my day! Appreciate you stopping by!

hisandhers from Toronto, Ontario, Canada on August 17, 2012:

These are incredible! You are so creative.

Alissa Roberts (author) from Normandy, TN on August 15, 2012:

Thanks so much Denise! :) Appreciate you stopping by and commenting!

Alissa Roberts (author) from Normandy, TN on August 15, 2012:

Thanks teaches! That pirate ship has now carried pirates, cowboys, and soldiers across the high seas of our tub :) It's funny how something so simple has created so much bath time fun. Appreciate you stopping by and for the vote up!

Denise Handlon from North Carolina on August 14, 2012:

Very cute and innovative!

Dianna Mendez on August 14, 2012:

My vote is on the pirate ship bath toy. It would provide hours of fun for any child. I love your creative talents on this subject and wish I would have had access to it during my son's early years. Voted up.

Alissa Roberts (author) from Normandy, TN on August 10, 2012:

Thanks so much Rose! Yes, these toys could be so much fun in a classroom water table too - thanks for mentioning that great idea! Appreciate you stopping by!

Alissa Roberts (author) from Normandy, TN on August 10, 2012:

Aww thanks so much Teresa! Your sweet comments just put a big smile on my face and totally made my day :) Appreciate you stopping by!

Rose Clearfield from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on August 09, 2012:

I always enjoy your kid craft articles! These are all wonderful suggestions and so simple. These ideas would work well in a classroom water table, too.

Teresa Coppens from Ontario, Canada on August 09, 2012:

Fantastic bath toys. I wish my boys were small again. They would have loved each and every one of these toys. Fantastic layout, pictures, everything, Alissa!!!!!!

Alissa Roberts (author) from Normandy, TN on August 09, 2012:

Thanks so much for all of your sweet comments K9! The boys had a blast in the tub this past week with all of their new toys. Some nights I thought I was going to have to drag them out of there before they shriveled up :) Appreciate your visit and for the share!

Alissa Roberts (author) from Normandy, TN on August 09, 2012:

Thanks Cara! It is amazing how fast those bath toys can get dirty. These homemade toys can save some serious money. Hope the kids enjoy their new set of letters and numbers! Appreciate you stopping by and for the share!

India Arnold from Northern, California on August 09, 2012:

Are you kidding me!? This hub is so fun! Creative ideas, super easy craft projects, and endless bathtub fun for kids (and grown-ups). I would have never even thought to make homemade bath toys until this article, Alissa. Super great stuff! This is a must share hub!

HubHugs~

cardelean from Michigan on August 09, 2012:

I *love* these ideas. I was just noticing the same thing about our bath toys and I was avoiding spending the money on new ones. I already have some foam so I guess I'll be giving those letters and numbers a try! Sharing this one!

Alissa Roberts (author) from Normandy, TN on August 09, 2012:

Thanks CS! I loved the shower caps too! The boys are already talking about which animal they are going to make next :) Appreciate your visit and for the share!

Alissa Roberts (author) from Normandy, TN on August 09, 2012:

Thanks so much RTalloni! They were all so much fun to make and got those stinky little boys in the tub without a fuss :) Appreciate you stopping by and commenting!

Alissa Roberts (author) from Normandy, TN on August 09, 2012:

Thanks so much vespawoolf! You are so right about not having to spend a lot of money - my boys have so many pirate ships it's not even funny but somehow making one out of plastic bottles was just awesome to them! I really appreciate the vote up and for the share!

Alissa Roberts (author) from Normandy, TN on August 09, 2012:

So good to see you and read your sweet comments Rebecca! With these toys, I had no problem getting the boys to hop in the bath this week! Too bad they couldn't work for your dogs :) Thanks so much for stopping by!

Alissa Roberts (author) from Normandy, TN on August 09, 2012:

Thanks so much for all the votes Patty! Your sweet comments just put a big smile on my face :) Appreciate you taking the time to read and comment!

Sarah Johnson from Charleston, South Carolina on August 09, 2012:

I love them all, but the shower cap bath craft is my favorite! So awesome that you got so much out of $3.00. Definitely sharing this one.

RTalloni on August 09, 2012:

You did a great job with this set of toys! I voted on the foam numbers and letters, but I would rate the fishing game right up there with it. Thanks for the simple instructions and the links for more info.

Vespa Woolf from Peru, South America on August 09, 2012:

These are adorable ideas and I love the photos that go with it. You truly don't need much money to entertain kids; their imaginations are alive. Thanks so much! Voted up and shared.

Rebecca Mealey from Northeastern Georgia, USA on August 08, 2012:

My, your boys are lucky to have such a creative Mom. LOVE the animal shower caps. I'll bet the fishing game is fun. This is a great way to get reluctant kids to take a bath. I need to incorporate some incentive to get my dogs to like baths . They hate them! It's nice to see you today , Alissa.

Patty Kenyon from Ledyard, Connecticut on August 08, 2012:

Voted Awesome, Useful, Interesting, and UP!!! Very creative ideas for little ones!!! I wish my kids were still little enough to enjoy these very cool ideas!!! Thanks for sharing your craft ideas!!!

Alissa Roberts (author) from Normandy, TN on August 08, 2012:

Thanks Sunshine Florida! Yes the fishing game works great for kiddie pools too! A small fishing net also works well if you don't want to make the pole. Appreciate you taking the time to read and comment!

Sunshine Florida on August 08, 2012:

Very creative! I must give one a try for my grandson. I love the fishing idea! Not only can my grandson play with them in the tub, but in his kiddie pool as well. Thanks for these ideas! Simple, cheap and fun.

Alissa Roberts (author) from Normandy, TN on August 08, 2012:

Too funny sharonchristy! Yes adults can have lots of fun with these bath toys too! I will totally admit that I had to test the pirate ship out to see if it worked before I gave it to the boys haha :D Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting!

Alissa Roberts (author) from Normandy, TN on August 08, 2012:

Thanks Ms Chievous! I used a waterproof paint on the caps and then warned my boys not to get them completely wet. Of course my 4 year old went for a swim anyway but the paint stayed on pretty well. My guess is that the caps may last another week or two with my boys before they are completely demolished :) My original idea was to get an all blue shower cap or swimming cap and then add the mouth, eyes, and fin but unfortunately I could only find the clear ones for the shower. If you can find either one of those, it might help your caps last a lot longer. Appreciate you stopping by and commenting!

Sharon Christy from India on August 08, 2012:

Loved that pirate ship idea! and please... when you come up with these lovely ideas don't say it's just for kids. ;) wanna try it out too! :) :D :)

Tina from Wv on August 08, 2012:

Very Creative! I liked the animal shower caps the best! How do you keep the paint from coming off of the cap though? My son would have that shark swimming all over the bath tub!

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