Early Language Activities

Using Everyday Objects for Language: Bath Time

Continuing with our series on using everyday objects for language. On Week 7 we will focus on all things bath time. We will have 4-5 activities and crafts to complete throughout the week. My goal is to keep it simple and use only items you likely already have or can substitute easily (after all- we are trying to social distance!). Want to take a peek at what we’re doing?

Get the Packet

Click HERE for Packet

In this packet you will find:

  • 8 activities with 5 visual directions that make it easy for your child to follow along (and help retell after!)
  • 4 worksheets for additional practice/creativity,
  • Personalized “I Can Go Potty” social narrative
  • Take a Bath social narrative


Monday: Homemade Bath Paint

Tuesday: Wash the Duck Sensory Bin & Paper Plate Duck Craft

Wednesday: Ice Fishing

Thursday: Soap Clouds

Friday: Shaving Cream Paper Art

Saturday: Sponge Boats

Favorite Bath Books

Homemade Bath Paint

Materials Needed:

  • Visual Directions (in packet)
  • Shaving Cream (Foamy works best)
  • Food Coloring
  • Muffin Tin or Containers


  1. Get all materials and set out. Find visual direction sheet printable HERE.
  2. While pointing to each material on the page, tell your child to “get the ____” to practice following directions.
  3. Once you have all of the materials, ask your child to tell you what we will use (pointing to materials if needed to get them started).
  4. Read each direction out loud. Use simple directions like “put _____ in” and “go/stop”. For older children- ask them what happens with each step (shaving cream expanding, color changing, etc.). For younger children- narrate for them and make sure you use attention getting words like “look!” “wow, do you see it…”.
  5. Let your child choose the colors to make. If they are still learning colors, say “do you want ____ or _____ (limit to 2) while pointing to the colors you are labeling. After they choose one say “here is the (pause)” and see if they can repeat the color back again.
  6. Take the container of paint up to the bathroom. Look around and ask them where would be a good place to use their bath paint. Guide them to the bathtub.
  7. Let them create their masterpiece! Narrate and comment on what they are making, how they are mixing colors, etc. Avoid asking questions until they are finished.
  8. Once your child is done playing with the paint, grab a cup and rinse the paint off. Many children love the “take off” part as much as the painting itself!

Wash the Duck Sensory Bin

Materials Needed:

  • Water
  • Washcloth
  • Soap/Body Wash
  • Sponge/Loofa
  • Towel
  • Rubber Ducks


  1. Gather all materials. If your child is old enough have them helping you by telling them “The ducks need a bath. What do we need to get?” See if they can recall what THEY use in the bath. If they struggle, bring them into the bathroom where they can see the items.
  2. Make the ducks dirty- you can do this by actually putting mud on them, or simply spray shaving cream on them. “Oh- the Ducks are dirty!”
  3. Once you have all the items- label each one. For new talkers, see if they will imitate the word or say it on their own.
  4. Model the sequence of washing and narrate as you do it to begin. “I get duck wet. I put soap on the duck. Scrub duck. Get duck wet again. Take out. Dry off.”
  5. Guide them through the process again- but this time let them have control. Narrate their steps, remind if they missed a step (working on sequencing and memory).
  6. After you have played 1-on-1 for 10-15 minutes, step back and let them have free play. Check in after a few minutes to see what they are doing and if they will offer up the information (pre-talkers: looking at you and showing you; talkers: sharing their experience through words and gestures).

Paper Plate Duck Craft

Check out our favorite duck books HERE

Materials Needed:

  • Yellow & Orange Construction Paper
  • Scissors
  • Maker or Googly Eyes
  • Glue
  • Paper Plate


  1. Get 1 piece of yellow and orange construction paper.
  2. With your help/supervision, cut pieces of yellow out. For older children- use safety scissors to let them cut strips and then cut out smaller squares. For younger children- let them tear pieces of paper. These will be bigger- but likely more suitable to their attention span. Keep the language simple “Cut/tear it” “do more” “all done”
  3. Grab the paper plate and glue. Put yellow paper on left, glue in middle, and paper plate on right. Show your child what you want to do “Put glue on paper. Put sticky paper on plate”.
  4. “Cover all of the plate.”
  5. Tell the child we have the rubber duck head but it’s missing parts. “What do we need?” See if they can tell you the mouth/beak and eyes. If not- look at a rubber duck (tub toy or in a book) and see if they can tell you or point to the missing pieces.
  6. Add the beak (orange triangle) and eyes (using marker or googly eyes). Talk about how the eyes are “above/over” the beak and the beak is “under” the eyes.

Ice Fishing


  1. Grab an ice tray (we used the baby food silicone trays we had) and pour water in. Let your child help while you give simple, short directions- “Get water” “Fill up” “It is full”. Optional: Hide a few water animals in the ice!
  2. Put in freezer.
  3. Pop ice cubes out of freezer. If you hid some animals in the ice say “Look- what is it?” Respond with “Yes! It is a ____”. Talk about how it’s “Stuck” and “Needs help”
  4. Take the ice to the bathtub and throw in. See if your child can “fish” the ice cubes out before they melt. How many can they get? Great opportunity for rote counting. Talk about the temperature differences and what happens to the ice cubes when they hit the warm water.

Soap Clouds

Materials Needed:

  • 1 Bar of Ivory Soap (brand is important)
  • Paper Plate/Paper Towel
  • Microwave
  • Visual Directions


  1. Gather all ingredients and put together. While pointing to the visual directions, say “get the soap”. If your child does not respond, point to the soap and repeat, “get the soap”.
  2. Tell your child to “open it up”. Give them time to try. If they get frustrated don’t jump in! Wait to see if they will look at and reach out to you or say “help” (anticipating their needs does NOT help increase communication :)).
  3. Tell your child to “get the plate”. Again if your child does not follow the direction, point to the plate and repeat, “get the plate”.
  4. Instruct your child to “put soap on the plate”.
  5. For older kids: Practice prediction by seeing if they can guess what will happen and take a guess at why.
  6. Put in microwave and set timer for ~2 minutes (it took 1 minute and 45 seconds for us). As it changes let your child watch and narrate what is happening. Leave some “quiet” space for them to share what they see though as well!
  7. Let sit for 1 minute to cool before trying to play.
  8. For older kids: Practice compare and contrast by talking about what the soap looked/felt/smelled like before going in the microwave and what it looks/feels/smells like after it comes out.

Shaving Cream Paper Art

Materials Needed:

  • Shaving Cream (Foam best)
  • Food Coloring
  • Tray
  • Toothpick
  • Paper
  • Scraper (squeegee or cake scraper)


  1. Set out tray and materials. Label each one and see if your child will imitate.
  2. Tell your child to “get the shaving cream”. If they do not, point to the shaving cream and again say “get the shaving cream”.
  3. Help your child spray shaving cream, covering the whole tray. Use simple language “Go. Put it here. Cover all of it. We need more here/there”.
  4. Next, tell your child to get the food coloring. Ask them what color they want (they may tell you by pointing or labeling- if they point name the color and have them attempt to imitate).
  5. Put drops of food coloring throughout the shaving cream. You can practice counting here. Put food coloring away from child.
  6. Tell your child “get a toothpick”. If they don’t follow the direction point to the toothpick and repeat direction.
  7. Model how to move the toothpick through the shaving cream. Then let your child do it.
  8. Tell your child “Get the paper.” Once they have the paper tell them to “Put it on the shaving cream” and “push/press down”. Help them to make sure they get all of the paper on the tray.
  9. “Take off the paper” by peeling it slowly. Talk about the texture and what happened when they pressed the paper onto the shaving cream.
  10. Using the squeegee (or scraper) “take off” the extra shaving cream.
  11. Hang to dry.

Sponge Boats

Materials Needed:


  1. Print out visual directions and gather materials.
  2. Looking at the visual directions and tell your child “we are going to make sponge boats”. List what you need and show them what the final product should look like (picture). For older kids: talk about the different parts of a sail boat and how you can create each one.
  3. Tell your child to “get the sponge”. Parents, using the scissors, cut a hole in the sponge. This only needs to be big enough to fit the straw into.
  4. Next, cut a triangle out of foam paper. Get your child involved by having them tell you “I want (color)” and possibly helping cut (with your supervision).
  5. Cut 2 holes into the triangle- one at top and one at the bottom. Label top and bottom while pointing. See if your child will imitate.
  6. “Put straw in holes.” See if your child can guide the straw through the holes you made. This is a difficult fine motor and hand/eye coordination task!
  7. “Put straw in sponge”. Show the child each part of the boat and label with their technical terms- vessel, sail, mast.
  8. Find some water and get sailing! B loved “blowing” the boat away!

Our Favorite Books Related to Bath Time:

Follow us on Instagram at @Languageandplaydates this week to see how we use these activities to increase language no matter your child’s age!


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