Good Clean Fun: A Storytime for International Bath Day

Today (June 14) is International Bath Day, supposedly created to celebrate the Greek mathematician Archimedes’ famous bath time discovery about water displacement and buoyancy. It also makes for a wonderful storytime theme. Here’s what we did:

Books:

Animal Baths by Bob Barner

Cute book describing the bathing habits of different animals. We had the kids act out different motions: the monkeys grooming their hair, the ducks preening, etc. I asked the kids if they’d like to have their teeth cleaned by shrimp, which got lots of “eww’s” in response.

Get Out of My Bath! by Britta Teckentrup

An interactive story about an elephant struggling with uninvited guests in her bathtub. Readers are asked to tilt the book left and right, shake it, and call out different phrases (I had the kids tilt their bodies left and right and shake their hands instead). Claire spritzed the crowd with water from a spray bottle at the end, when the elephant sprays all the water back into the tub.

Mommy Go Away by Lynne Jonell and Petra Mathers

This was a favorite of my daughter’s when she was little. When Christopher gets tired of being told what to do, he tells his mother to “Go away on this boat.” When she says that she is too big for the boat, he tells her to “Get Small.” She shrinks down, and he puts her on a boat in the bathtub, reminding her to brush her teeth, remember her manners, and “no hitting the other Mommies.” When she says that she is scared, he promises to help her, towels her off, and tells her she can be big again, while they both reflect on how hard it is to be small. I noticed that some reviewers on Amazon objected to the premise, but I think it’s a compelling fantasy for kids to be in charge, and, despite the book’s title, it’s a nice story about a moment of empathy between parent and child.

Songs:

Brush Your Teeth

This Raffi song is always great for toddlers and preschoolers. Here’s a video with the tune:

When you wake up in the morning,
It’s a quarter to one,
And you want to have a little fun,
You brush your teeth,
Ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch!
You brush your teeth,
Ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch!

When you wake up in the morning,
It’s a quarter to two,
And you just can’t think of something to do,
You brush your teeth…
When you wake up in the morning,

It’s a quarter to three,
And your mind starts humming,
“Fiddle-dee-dee,”…
When you wake up in the morning,

It’s a quarter to four,
And you think you hear a knock on the door,
You get a little scared,
And then you brush your teeth…

When you wake up in the morning,
It’s a quarter to five,
And you just can’t wait to come alive!…

Down in the Jungle

This was a lot of fun, and worked perfectly after reading Animal Baths. The lyrics I used were from Let’s Play Kids Music, which also includes this video of just the tune:

Down in the jungle where nobody goes,
There’s a great big elephant washing his toes,
With a rub-a-dub here, and a rub-a-dub there,
That’s the way he washes his toes!

CHORUS

Boom, boom, boogie-woogie boogie-woogie,
Boom, boom, boogie-woogie boogie-woogie,,
Rub-a-dub here, and a rub-a-dub there,
That’s the way he washes his toes!

Down in the jungle where there’s nobody there,
There’s a great big lion washing his hair,
With a rub-a-dub here, and a rub-a-dub there,
That’s the way he washes his hair!

(repeat chorus)

Down in the jungle, if you look in the trees,
There’s a cheeky monkey washing his knees,
With a rub-a-dub here, and a rub-a-dub there,
That’s the way he washes his knees!

(repeat chorus)

Down in the jungle if you care to check,
There’s a very tall giraffe washing his neck,
With a rub-a-dub here, and a rub-a-dub there,
That’s the way he washes his neck!

Down at the river, if you look underneath,
There’s a great big crocodile brushing his teeth,
With a rub-a-dub here, and a rub-a-dub there,
That’s the way he brushes his teeth!

I Love My Hair

This one’s to the tune of Love Somebody, Yes, I Do.

I love my hair, yes I do! (nod)

Love to wash it with shampoo (Mime washing your hair)

Rinse it, dry it (shake head vigorously), style it too.

Don’t you love my new hairdo? (fluff your hair with your hands)

I Had a Little Turtle

Cute version of the old children’s song by JBrary. Here’s a video that shows the motions:

I had a little turtle,

His name is Tiny Tim.

I put him in the bathtub

To see if he could swim.

He drank up all the water,

He ate up all the soap,

And now he’s home sick in bed

With bubbles in his throat!

Bubble Bubble Bubble,

Bubble Bubble Pop!

Bubble Bubble Bubble,

Bubble Bubble Pop!

Rubber Ducky by Jeff Moss

I couldn’t resist doing this classic song from Sesame Street. Here’s a .pdf of the lyrics and ukulele chords from jenfo.com.

Stay & Play: Foam Bath Toys

To be honest, I had no idea if this project was going to work, but it ended up being a lot of fun. Basically, I put out foam sheets for the kids or grown-ups to cut into shapes. When these get wet, they will temporarily stick to the walls of a bathtub. To decorate them, I put out some small pieces of adhesive foam sheets that they could cut into mouths, noses, or other shapes. I brought several different kinds of scissors: regular kids scissors, as well as adaptive scissors for both kids and adults. I also put out googly eyes and some markers, which were really intended for drawing out the shapes before cutting, since they would wash off in the bathtub, but some kids used them to draw on their shapes too.

My main purpose was to give kids a chance to work with scissors, and I left the choice of what shape to make up to the them, although I provided a couple of samples (a fish and an octopus) to give them ideas or to serve as a template if they were stuck. It was fun to see all of the different things they came up with, and the ways the kids and grown-ups ended up working together. Some kids did the whole project on their own. Some had the grown-ups cut out shapes that they decorated. Some kids made really intricate layered foam art pieces. They were all really engaged, and excited to try out their creations in the bath.

What are your favorite books or songs about bathtime? Please share them in the comments.