Bathtime is a great time to promote sensory development.
- Tactile (touch) input is provided by the water, splashing, playing, and washing body parts.
- Vestibular (movement and balance) input is provided by tilting the head back to wash hair, lying down in the bath tub, climbing in and out of the tub, and sitting upright.
- Auditory input is provided by the sound of the running water and all of the conversation or singing that takes place.
- Visual input is provided by, of course, everything that is in the tub and in the room within sight!
- Smell input is provided by the scent of soaps, shampoos, and conditioners.
- Hopefully the taste sensations are not stimulated...wouldn't want the kiddos to drink the bath water!
If possible make the kid's bathtime as fun as possible. Try bathtub paint or crayons, water or beach toys, foam soap, and fun smelling shampoo and/or conditioner. Character towels and washcloths such as Dora or Sesame Street characters have a way of making things fun, too.
Adaptations for children with touch sensitivity include providing firm hand circles on the head during hair washing, use a sun visor to keep water from dripping on the head, soft or infant washcloths, and infant massage or lotion rubs after the bath.