I am a stickler for schedules. I make sure the kids eat at 6PM so we can go up at 7:30 latest, in and out of the bathroom quickly, in bed with a book by 8PM and asleep by 8:30 or 9 at the absolute latest. Play time no longer happened at night because I didn’t want them to get too worked up before bedtime. Eating and sleeping were definitely more important than bathing so I normally hurried this step. However, after attending the #SoMuchMore event of Johnson’s Baby, I realized a few things on bathing:
1. Playing during bath time stimulates so many senses in our kids – sight, smell, touch, hearing and even taste (Yes, they like opening their mouths in the shower — just make sure you’ve installed an Aquasana Shower Filter!).
2. The shower is the one place where our kids and we, parents, CANNOT touch our gadgets! We are free to use our imagination, our creativity, our senses.
3. Coach Pia, in a BetterMe session before, gave us busy parents a practical tip — make sure you spend at least 30 minutes with your kids doing what they want to do. Bath time seems to be that perfect time.
So we started doing so many activities in the bath:
– Cleaning the tiles and the shower doors (hahaha, you see what I’m up to?)
– Shooting each other with the shower phone (I wonder if the kids call it a telephone?? because the phones now don’t look like that)
– Doing science projects by pouring water into different containers and using syringes
– Bringing in the dolls and making them dive into the pool (their old baby tub)
– And their ultimate favorite — and it never gets old — playing with lots and lots of bubbles. Bubbles in the timba, bubbles in every container, bubbles as foam squirting out of old Johnson’s Baby bottles, making bubble hairdo, catching bubbles, playing the game of not popping bubbles — there is no child that can resist bubbles.
And now, our bath/ play time lasts up to one hour. We get to bond WITHOUT gadgets. We get to have quality fun REAL play time with each other. They get to fire up their synapses with all the sensory stimulation (nerd alert!). They get to make a mess and clean it up! AND they come out clean and smelling great.
Gadgets are a big part of our lives so we would be hypocrites if we made our kids stop using them altogether. The best solution is to limit the gadget time and make sure we parents play with them, even if it’s just during bath time … because there are so many benefits of playing for real vs. just letting them play with the gadgets.