I’ve never really been a fan of our boys’ tub toys. Maybe it’s because I’m the one who cleans the tub. Maybe it’s because I don’t really care for clutter in general, especially the bright plastic kind. And I especially don’t like slightly gross plastic toys that never quite dry out. We had a mesh basket in the corner of our tub that suctioned to the wall and held all of the tub toys. If the toys were put into the basket so that they drained, they would dry out pretty fast. But often they were put in with water still in them and in a way that prevented draining. And no matter how they were put in, I still had to move the whole basket to clean under it when I cleaned the tub, and the toys never really seemed clean. We have hard water that leaves gunk on the tub and anything in it. I can scrub it off the tub with some baking soda and a lot of elbow grease, but the toys were a lost cause.
Anyway, last week I was cleaning the tub and moving all the toys and I had an ah-ha moment. We don’t need tub toys. Nope, we sure don’t. There’s no rule that says that bath time has to involve a bunch of boats and ducks. We tend to do quick in-and-out baths anyway, which can be done without any toys at all.
So I gathered up the toys and moved them. Some got donated, some got trashed, and some got moved out to the wading pool on our patio (which gets a whole lot more use than the bathtub, so they might as well be there anyway). The mesh tub basket is now in our Goodwill donation pile. And my tub is nice and clean. All that’s on the edge of it is a single bottle of Dr. Bronners soap and a plastic cup that we use to rinse the boys off.
So. Much. Better.
Why didn’t I think of this a long time ago? I’ve never bought any tub toys, but people had given them to our boys as gifts. And even though bath time isn’t much of a production around here (we’re more into just get clean and be done with it), I dutifully kept the tub stocked with several plastic toys, because that’s just what you do, right? This is the tub that we use too, since we have a shower filter and I like to fill the tub for the boys from our shower head (the other bathroom doesn’t have a shower filter). It’s so much nicer to have a clean, uncluttered tub for all of us to use. And the best of the tub toys are now getting plenty of use in the wading pool out back. The boys have barely noticed that there are no toys in the tub anymore. It’s a win for everyone.
Do you like tub toys? Do you limit the number you have? Keep them somewhere else and bring them to the tub at bath time? Or have you taken the “who needs em?” approach too?