Every parent knows that bath time can be a bit of a struggle. Even if your baby is generally a good bather, there will always be instances when they either do not want to take a bath or make giving them a bath more difficult than you would prefer.
Parents often turn to bath toys to either make the experience more enjoyable or distract their children, so bathing them is easier. As an added bonus, plenty of bath toys are being made to also foster the development of skills both physical and mental.
Best Baby Bath Toys of 2018
Of course, figuring out which baby bath toy to choose can be difficult. That is why we have put together a list of the 5 best baby bath toys identified by what they do best. Then we provide a helpful buyer’s guide, so you can find the best baby bath toys for your baby.
|TOMY Bath Foam Cone Factory|
|Gross Motor Skills|
|Yookidoo Spin N Sort Spout Pro||Cognitive Skills|
Fine Motor Skills
Hand and Eye Coordination
|Munchkin Super Scoop||N/A||6+ months|
|Green Toys Seaplane||N/A||1+ years|
|Oball Grasp and Splash Gift Set||N/A||6+ months|
1. TOMY Bath Foam Cone Factory – Best Bubble Baby Bath Toy
Founded in 1924, TOMY toys, originally Tomiyama, is the oldest company on our list. TOMY is one of the more storied manufacturers of children’s toys on our list. In fact, it is not at all uncommon for TOMY brand toys to be rebranded in western markets. In fact, many of TOMY toys are actually rebranded as Hasbro and other major western toy brands when the are sold in the United States and Europe. TOMY has been the leading manufacturer of major brands throughout the years including both Pokemon and Transformers. After merging with Takara toys in 2006, TOMY is positioned as one of the giants in infant toy manufacturing.
Teaching and Playing
The Bath Foam Cone Factory is a unique product on our list in that it is one of the few toys which does not inherently offer separate pieces that are meant to be played with on their own. That said, the design of the Bath Foam Cone Factory does facilitate a number of different skills and even offers an incentive to teach babies the importance of cleanliness through a fun activity.
Some Things To Keep An Eye On
That said, the Bath Foam Cone Factory does have a few flaws and limitations. For instance, the handle that the toy uses to function is not that durable. This means that older babies who play a bit too roughly with the Bath Foam Cone Factory can break it. On the flip side, the toy’s inherent design does not lend itself well to younger babies. This means the Bath Foam Cone Factory can be a bit out of sorts for all ages depending on how rough it is played with.
Another issue with rough play is the potential for the Bath Foam Cone Factory to be pulled from its fastening. While this is one of the larger and heavier toys we reviewed, it is held in place by four suction cups. Still, is an older baby pulls itself up or places all of its weight on the Bath Foam Cone Factory, the toy has been known to come loose from its position.
Another quality about the Bath Foam Cone Factory is its use of soap as one of the primary ingredients for play. This can be a bit of a double edged sword. On the one hand, the use of soap during play at bathtime will help normalize the use of soap for cleanliness and can make giving your baby a bath easier. On the other hand, the design of the soap as “ice cream” my actually inspire your baby to try and eat the soap.
2. Yookidoo Spin N Sort Spout Pro – Best Educational Baby Bath Toy
While Yookidoo may not have been around for nearly as long as some of the other brands on our list, it has developed a sterling reputation in the baby toy market in short order. Founded a little over a decade ago, Yookidoo burst onto the scene by providing some of the most stimulating toys for babies available. In fact, Yookidoo has won twenty different awards for their baby toys stretching all the way back to 2011 and just as recently as 2017. Ultimately, you can trust that the brand will continue to foster excellence in both its design and manufacturing process.
The Spin N Sort Spout Pro is a prime example of this drive for excellence. Having been developed and brought to market this year, the Spin N Sort Spout Pro has already won two awards following the smash success of the prior year’s products, the Musical Duck Race and the Submarine Spray Station. Similar to those products, easily one of the strongest advantages the Spin N Sort Spout Pro has going for it is the robust elements designed to help foster and develop skills.
Great Interaction and Experience
This is not simply a demonstrative lesson though, as your baby will be expected to interact and engage with this toy in their exploration which inherently builds other skills. For example, the gears are all removable and can be arranged however your baby desires, this will require the use of fine motor skills another higher level skill set the Spin N Sort Spout Pro helps your baby develop.
On the other side of the gear works, there is a station to mix and match three different types of cup toys. These models include a strainer, a sprayer, and a floater model. Aside from the fact that each type will help your baby develop their cognitive skills of cause and effect, they will also require the use of hand eye coordination skills the final skill set that the Spin N Sort Spout Pro fosters.
Fun and Durable
In terms of organization, the Spin N Sort Spout Pro is almost ideal. First, the main base itself is held in place with two suction cups. Because your baby does not need to put weight on the Spin N Sort Spout Pro, there is little risk of it falling off the wall. Even better, all of the different removable parts of the Spin N Sort Spout Pro will stack on one side or the other, making an separate organizational bin unnecessary.
This may not be the most ideal toy for the youngest of babies. While the buckets may provide some fun for younger babies, they are unlikely to be able to make use of all of the Spin N Sort Spout Pro’s functions. While this would not necessarily be too much of an issue should you be able to opt for it as a toy to grow with, this product does have some definite durability issues.
The most prominent concern in terms of durability in regards to the Spin N Sort Spout Pro is its motor. Some consumers report no problems, but the motor giving out after about six months is a common enough issue that it bears mentioning. When you consider that this is also the most expensive baby bath toy we saw, that makes it a bit risky if you are budget strapped.
3. Munchkin Super Scoop – Easiest Cleanup Baby Bath Toy
Munchkin is another brand on our list that has not necessarily been around for all that long, but they have quickly made a big splash in the baby bath toy market. Much like other manufacturers we reviewed, Munchkin has been piling up awards in recent years for their dedication to providing toys that fill ideal niches. In regards to the Super Scoop bundle, this excellence shows itself as much for the parents as it does for the children.
Great in Numbers
This is because the Super Scoop bundle offers arguably the best combination of organization and cleanup that we saw. This bundle includes sixteen different toys, which in itself is a large number provided, but the real winner of this show is the scoop. With an intelligent design, you may want to purchase this product for the scoop alone.
First, the Super Scoop is held in place by a single suction cup. Since the scoop is not actually one of the interactive elements for the bundle, you do not need to worry about your baby pulling the scoop dow.
The Super Scoop’s suction cup is definitely one of the more finicky suction cups we saw. In fact, the suction cup itself can be so tricky that you are strongly advised to read the instructions for how to properly set it up. It should also be noted that this suction cup does not work with textured tiles.
The scoop also comes with a large opening and handle. This means that when bath time is done, you do not need to worry about collecting each individual toy. Instead, you can simply skim the water and allow the scoop to do all the work for you.
In terms of the toys themselves, they are decent if unspectacular. This bundle comes with two sets of eight toys sixteen toys in all. One set is based on ocean animals while the other set is based on freshwater animals. All of the toys can squirt water which adds to their enjoyment and interactivity, but it also means that the toys can potentially allow the growth of mildew; This also means that the toys do not really aid in the development of higher level skills.
4. Green Toys Seaplane – Best Budget Baby Bath Toy
Green Toys is a bit of a unique company in that it is the only brand we saw which makes it a point to use fully sustainable resources in its manufacturing products. Keep in mind, while the toys are made out of plastic, they are made from certified 100 percent recycled plastic.
In fact, even their packaging is made from sustainable sources with their boxes made from recycled paper and their ink made from soy. As such, the packaging is safe and biodegradable without depositing toxins back into the environment.
Fun and Safe
With the Green Toys Seaplane, this is a bit of a unique product that is not ideal for all babies. A big part of this has to do with the Seaplane’s size. Quite frankly, this is a bit of a monstrous bath toy at 9.5” x 9”. As such, this toy will be far too large for younger babies whose hands have not yet developed the strength or coordination to comfortably grasp the Seaplane or confidently lift it.
Older babies are liable to love this toy, and its larger size ensures that it can be enjoyed for years to come even as your baby grows into a child. This longevity is further bolstered by the fact that the Green Toys Seaplane is likely the most durable bath toy we reviewed. In fact, your baby can play with this toy both in and out of the bathtub or take it along for trips to the pool or beach.
Things to Look For
Still, there are a couple issue to note with the Green Toys Seaplane. First, while the company says that it can float, this will really depend on how your baby plays with it. If your baby makes it a point to submerge the Seaplane, chances are that it will not float properly thereafter. This is because the Seaplane has vented openings in the pontoons. When the pontoons fill with water, the balance of the Seaplane is thrown off and it will often list or sink from that point on.
This is in a large part due to the fact that once the pontoons fill with water, they are not designed to allow it to quickly or easily dry. You also cannot open the pontoons to dry them manually. This actually creates the other potential issue with the Green Toys Seaplane. Once water gets into the pontoons, you may find that the toy fosters the growth of mildew.
5. Oball Grasp and Splash Gift Set – Best Figurine Baby Bath Toy
Oball is actually one of the brands housed under the Kids II company. While this brand is explicitly designed to be used by babies and infants, the Kids II parent company is the owner of some of the most well-respected brands for child toys which aid in skill development on the market. These brands include Baby Einstein, Ingenuity, and Bright Stars.
The Oball brand, being focused on younger babies, seeks to find subtle ways to innovate the market to provide toys which are designed with their users in mind rather than simply offer a product which ostensibly serves babies best. To this end, one of the major advancements that Oball has brought to their products is a unique material approach. While Oball uses plastic like many other brands, its manufacturing process textures the plastic in such a way that it is easier to grasp and pick up than most others.
This development makes itself especially valuable for bath toys where the water can make the toys slippery and difficult to grasp by babies. Oball actually goes one step further in this regard to then design the toys in such a way that they are even easier to hold by integrating a geometric design into many of their toys’ architecture. Ultimately, these toys are the easiest to use without worry of them slipping from small hands.
When you consider the sheer number of toys combined with the variety of styles and interaction, this product is already a solid value. However, the fact that this is one of the least expensive toys we reviewed only increases that value. In fact, the only thing that might put this product over the top is if it came with some form of organization tool, like a net or scoop. Sadly, you will have to purchase that separately.
Just to Mention
One thing to keep in mind, the toys may not be ideal for more sensitive babies. While all of these toys pass regulation standards, only the cups are certified BPA-free. If you are concerned with trace amounts of BPA, then you might want to avoid the Splash Gift Set. Another potential concern is that two of the toys may allow for the growth of mildew as water can get inside, but they do not open up to be dried directly.
Best Baby Bath Toys – Buyer’s Guide
Safety is always the primary concern of any parent. As such, it is important to carefully read the labels of any product you intend to use with your baby. In the case of bath toys, the main thing you want to make sure is it does not contain chemicals or materials known to cause adverse effects. These include BPA, phthalates, and PVC.
Unfortunately, many children’s products do contain trace amounts of these materials, though the low amounts have been deemed safe by various regulatory bodies. Still, there are products available which make it a point to include no amounts of these potentially dangerous chemicals and materials.
While toys decades ago may have simply sought to keep babies preoccupied, these days manufacturers are finding ingenious ways to also ensure that their toys teach your kids. With implicit design choices, various bath toys can offer a wide range of skill development that coincides with play time.
- Sensory Skills – These are the lowest level of skills that your baby develops. They include things like color recognition, shape recognition, and object recognition.
- Cognitive Skills – These skills sit on the highest end of the spectrum and involve your child’s mental development. The primary way toys develop cognitive skills often involve demonstrating cause and effect in a clear and simple manner.
- Social Skills – These skills are often developed in between sensory and cognitive skills but are heavily dependent on the situation. Since we will all one day have to get along with others, this is an excellent skillset to develop, but often overlooked.
- Gross Motor Skills – These are basic movement skills and involve moving the larger parts of the body. Anything that focuses on neck, leg, and arm movement is helping your baby develop gross motor skills.
- Fine Motor Skills – These are more refined motor skills that require a bit more care and delicate touch to accomplish. While there will inherently be some arm motion, these skills relate more to the ability to manipulate fingers with dexterity.
Ideally, you want to buy toys that are dishwasher safe. This can make cleaning them much easier. That said, the design of the toy may not foster the highest levels of cleanliness. This is especially relevant if the toy squirts water.
Essentially, a toy that can house water will eventually develop mildew if it cannot allow that water to dry out. If a toy can let water in, it is far better if you can then open the toy and dry it manually. If you cannot, be sure to check and make sure that it is not mildewing every week or so.
Ultimately, the best baby bath toys will always be the ones that fit your needs. Depending on your child’s age and your own preferences, one bath toy is likely to be seen as superior to another.
For an all-around solid toy, the TOMY Bath Foam Cone Factory offers a number of unique skills and lessons that can make the whole process both easier and more fun. The use of soap promotes self-cleaning while the foam cone production engages in social skill development.
Of course, if you are looking for the absolute most educational baby bath toy, the Yookidoo Spin N Sort Spout Pro is hard to beat. This bath toy will help your baby develop all of the higher level skillsets including cognitive and fine motor skills. Though, it may be a bit too advanced for younger babies.