I picked up a pack of foam sheets at the dollar store a while back and recently needed a new bath time toy. I finally got around to making these bathtub shapes from I Can Teach My Child (love this website for ideas for fun learning activities). I just freehand cut mine and they came out pretty good.
They have been a hit! My daughter loves playing with them and goes running to the bathroom when I tell her it’s time to play with them. She’ll stick them up on the wall and take them down 100 times, stick them to herself, stick them on me, pair them up, move them around… All the while we talk about what color they are, what shape they are, is it big or small, etc.
Meanwhile, I had also picked up a magnet fishing set at CVS, nothing fancy, just wanted something for her to play with on a rainy, summer afternoon in the bathtub. The fish were a bit too heavy for the tiny magnet so she was losing interest pretty quickly.
I tried to see if the letter and number fridge magnets would float but they just sank and stuck to the bottom of the tub. Yeah, it was still fun for her to play with but not quite what I was going for.
Then, it dawned on me that the foam shapes float. I did a test run with clipping a paper clip on a shape and the fishing pole picked it up easily. So, I made a batch of fish!
I basically just freehand cut out fish shapes out of that same pack of foam sheets and put a paper clip on each “nose” and tossed them in the water. I had to show Kelsey to catch them by the nose but she’s had it on her own since.
A day or two later I decided to number them 1-10 with a Sharpie marker since we are working on recognizing numbers. She can count beyond that but some she gets some of the written numbers mixed up still. I think it has helped to be able to repeat them without it feeling like I’m drilling her on them.
It’s also just think she looks cute fishing in the bathtub and she gets so excited when she catches one. For just playing I only put just enough water in to get the fish to float.
I doubt I am the first one to ever think of this, in fact we played with a paper version at an event a while back. I am, however, happy that I thought to use what we had on hand to create a fun little game that she enjoys.