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Everyday activities: Bath time

If your child likes bath time there are lots of opportunities for you to support your child’s communication as part of this everyday activity. You are likely to be on their level as you sit or kneel next to the bath and there are fewer distractions so you can be more focused on each other.

For children developing their early communication skills you can help them understand this everyday activity by showing them an object such as a sponge or bath toy every time you tell them it is ‘bath time’.

Bath time can be a great time for working on joint attention skills by having fun together, splashing, pouring water and blowing bubbles.

You can practise some turn taking or try ready, steady, go (pause before you say ‘go!’ to see if they will communicate it to you).

Illustration of child in bath adult commenting

Comment on what your child is doing or playing with. This will allow you to reinforce some important words such as body parts like feet, legs, hands, or describing words like hot, cold, wet, and dry.

Illustration of child in bath adult commenting action

If your child knows words like feet, legs, hands, you could model action words as you are doing them such as washing, pouring, and splashing.

Illustration of child in bath adult giving choice

Offer your child choices, for example, “shall we wash your hands or feet?” Your child may point, reach, vocalise or attempt to say the word. Remember to model the vocabulary so your child can become familiar with the new words.

Illustration of child in bath adult commenting on action

If your child is starting to use more words, extend their language by repeating the word back and adding 1 or 2 new words, for example, “bubbles”, “popping bubbles” or “more bubbles”.

Illustration of adult commenting phrase

As your child’s language develops you can model 2 or 3 word phrases for your child to build on their language skills, for example, “washing hair”, “drying toes” or “popping big bubbles”.

Additional resources and information

This video is part of the Weekend Words series and explains and demonstrates how to develop your child’s language skills at bath time.

Contact us

For more information please contact the Speech and Language Therapy Service at Flockton House on 0114 226 2333.

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Please note: this is a generic information sheet relating to care at Sheffield Children’s NHS FT. These details may not reflect treatment at other hospitals. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professionals’ instructions. If this resource relates to medicines, please read it alongside the medicine manufacturer’s patient information leaflet. If this information has been translated into another language from English, efforts have been made to maintain accuracy, but there may still be some translation errors. If you are unsure about any of the guidance in this resource or have specific questions about how it relates to your child, always ask your healthcare professional for further advice.

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