Ideas for fun things for older children to do in the bath - with plastic containers!

The days might be getting slightly milder but there is still a nip in the air and on these chilly evenings, a warm, comforting bath is a tempting place for all of us.  For youngsters, especially if they have been outside getting mucky and cold, then there's nothing better than piling them into the bath for a good wallow around.

Bubble and Spark's mission is to make bath toys that are fun, and at the same time help children to think and learn. Our toys are still being designed and tested, to make sure they are perfect. But, luckily, in the meantime there are lots of things kicking around your house that will cheer up a bath no end and help children develop scientific and mathematical skills.  How about grabbing a few different plastic containers from your Recycling box?

Selection of containers to play with in the bath

Plastic containers with holes in them are great for experiments. The lids from take-away coffees, plastic containers that held supermarket fruits, yoghurt pots that you have cut a small hole into - all of these are great. Challenge your youngster to make a bubble like a fart underwater! (If they need help then the trick is to cover the hole(s) firmly with your finger, pull the container to the bottom of the bath with the open side down until it's on the bottom of the bath, hold the container there whilst releasing your finger and....up pops the underwater bubble!) Does your child have any ideas about why this happens? (The air that was inside the pot is being displaced by water). 

Another game is feeling suction as you pull a container slowly up out of the water - try it with and without the hole covered and feel the difference.  Or they could experiment with the flow rate of water from different containers - does the shape of the container affect how quickly the water comes out? Does water flow faster from one big hole or two little ones?  Perhaps you could help them time how long it takes each container to empty and discuss whether the results are surprising, or what you would all have expected. 



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