This is a fabulous post written by the lovely Amanda and played by J and H! They are too cute for words but aside from that, this is a fantastic activity to develop language, understanding about the body and hygiene. As well as this, it is very good for children to recreate things they see and have the opportunity to rehearse the every day language they hear.
We were very excited about receiving Precious Play’s invitation to bathe a baby!
J is aged 2 1/2 years and has recently started nursery where the key themes for the children this term are looking after themselves and each other on both a physical and emotional level so this activity seemed perfect. J has already proved himself to be very caring to his little brother, baby H (aged 11 months), and a favourite time of day is their shared bath before bed. J enjoys helping me to wash H (in between the seemingly obligatory splashing/drenching of Mummy) and I was therefore interested to see how he would get on with looking after a pretend baby in the “bath”.
I had planned to do the activity with J on his own but napping schedules didn’t quite work out today so, as you can see from the photos, H joined in too.
Before we started, a hunt for a suitable “baby” ensued. Being a household of two boys where planes and cars feature highly (and sadly having not kept any of my childhood dolls), we didn’t have a pretend baby to wash. Whilst any type of washable toy would do for this activity, I really wanted J to have the experience of playing with a doll. I had a good look round the local charity shops but unfortunately couldn’t find one. I therefore actually went out and bought one but (before you tell me off Natasha!) this is not something I would usually do and is an early Christmas pressie for J.
When we got home, I laid out a washing up bowl filled with warm water on the floor together with some bubble bath, a sponge, a toothbrush, a towel and of course the doll who we named George (I like to think that J was being patriotic but suspect that he was in fact named after a Peppa Pig character.)
J first made the “bath” bubbly then dunked George before washing him all over with the sponge and using the toothbrush to clean George’s teeth.
(The toothbrush was then swiped by H who refused to let go of it again!)
I asked J to tell me which parts of George’s body he was washing (head, tummy, arms, legs) and listed the parts of the body that hadn’t been washed (back, toes, ears) so that he could identify them himself and give them a wash. J particularly enjoyed squeezing the sponge out above George’s head like a mini-shower.
I then asked J if I could wash George and if he could tell me which areas I should clean (mainly back and head). J was less keen on that part of the activity and enjoyed it far more when he was in control of the scrubbing!
J decided that George wasn’t the only one who needed a wash and promptly took off his socks and top, asked me to help roll up his trousers, then had a bit of a paddle in the bowl!
Needless to say, during the activity the floor became a little wet and, with no prompting from me, J mopped up the water with the towel.
After 20 minutes or so, J decided that George should get out of the bath. He dried George in the towel, put his nappy and clothes on and gave him a big cuddle.
He then popped George’s dummy in and sat on the sofa patting and soothing him.
J relished in the opportunity of looking after his doll and this was a great activity to reinforce names of body parts.
Thank you so much Amanda and the lovely J and H! This is quite possibly the cutest thing ever!! I think it is essential we allow our boys to play with dolls, kitchens and other seemingly ‘girl’ role play toys as not only do they love it, they also benefit from developing key life skills through play! If you are interested in being a Play Pal and testing out my play ideas in your home, please email me firstname.lastname@example.org