Freezing Toys for the Bath

When your kiddos are going stir-crazy this winter, here’s a tip for entertaining them: Freeze toys for the bath! It’s ridiculously easy, and they LOVE it.

1. One evening, freeze an inch of water in a bowl/cup/take-out container in the freezer.
2. The next morning, add a few toys, plus another inch or two of water over them, and let that freeze.
3. That evening, just melt the edges a bit (run under warm water from the sink) and they will slide right out of the bowl. Give them to your child in the bath one at a time (draawwwiiiinnnnggg it out!).

What are your go-to indoor activities for kids? I’d love to hear!

P.S. Why Danish babies sleep outdoors.

(Photo by Alpha Smoot for Cup of Jo; styling by Kendra Smoot)

  1. That is a brilliant idea! I have been bathing my five year old and one year old together, and they would LOVE this!

  2. This is such a great idea. My kids are going to be so happy! Thanks.

  3. This is a great idea!! Collecting toys now for bath time tomorrow night!!

    I give my little one bottles of food colored water and she sprays the snow in our backyard for hours while I watch from my warm kitchen window!


  4. I’m cooking a TON with my daughter this winter – she just turned 2 and loves to “help.” Plus I love baking so it’s a win-win. We also have the book “Toddlerobics” which walks you through a bunch of kid-friendly “exercises” (like touch your toes, zoom like a plane, etc.) which she loves. I try to really draw it out and it can eat up a lot of time running around + being silly.

  5. Glow sticks in the bath with the lights out!

  6. I’m compiling a list of ideas from this comments feed! loving crash pile, macaroni necklaces, VOLCANOS!! I’m going to freeze her little plastic animals with her tomorrow – thanks so much for fab idea. Lili

  7. Anyone that is worried about it being too cold has never lived in a NYC apartment where they keep the heat at tropic levels! Last winter in NYC, my little ones would run around in diapers at home! Now that we are in a house it is much much colder, so if it were only a couple small pieces of ice this could work. I also let my little ones do finger painting in the bath. I buy the crayola washable ones, let them paint the bathtub walls and then just hose it (and them) all down! Another thing I do is put two large pots full of water in the kitchen sink. I let them stand at the sink with step stools and give them cups, spoons etc. They will seriously play with it for an hour. That is my very best trick. Like an indoor water table.

  8. this is so cool! I don’t even have kids and I want to do it!

  9. My mum used to do this for my brother and me. Happy memories! She’d also fill up a mini water pistol with hot water so we could squirt and melt the ice away a bit at a time!

  10. What a great idea! I’ll keep this in mind for when I finally have a child :p. Thanks!

    Hope your week’s off to a great start!


  11. This. is. brilliant.

    Thanks for the idea. :)

  12. Sorry, this can’t possibly be a good idea. The bath will get cold.. It’s cold and flu season.. Warm bath, warm PJs and socks. Orange juice. No ice in the bath.

  13. Perfect to accompany the bathtub crayons! When we got snowed in I pulled out the Busy Board. An amazing idea we found on Pinterest. Caution – baby will learn how to open locks!

    New Post: Easy Feng Shui

  14. we get outside as often as possible if even for 30-40 mins — but a small simple ZIP LOCK BAG in the bath is HOURS of entertainment. Try it!

  15. This is cute.

    My son is 2 and these days we are blending a lot of smoothies.. I choose the fruits and little boy counts the pieces of fruits and veggies and then blends them. He is learning to count and finds all this quite engaging and entertaining… he is specially thrilled when his dad thanks him for the wonderful smoothies :)

  16. Okay, I don’t have a sub-zero winter to contend with (sunny and 85* in Kenya, thanks!), I do think this would keep my daughter wonderfully entertained while doing her hair in the tub! Her little curlicues need a lot of detangling, and waiting for toys to melt could be just the trick to keep her distracted! Thank you!

  17. Great suggestion – I’m going to try this (my son loves ice – thanks to your tip about giving a cup of ice while plying on a plane to play with). We just bought a small parachute from amazon – he loves that – plus the helium balloons which we got for his birthday which last for literally a couple of months as they have been treated.

  18. Wow! What a brilliant idea! My kiddo is still in my belly but you better believe that I’ll be trying this one some day!

  19. Great Idea!! Some indoors activities for this Cali family on rainy days include:

    -finger/foot painting
    -making necklaces out of macaroni
    -playing with cloud dust. Mix about 4 cups of flour with 1/2 cup of baby oil. Mixture is not greasy and the flour molds easily and breaks down well. Great sensory tool for toddlers. Use with cups, spoons, plastic cookie cutters, etc…
    -tried and true Playdough hour
    -baking cookies, bread. Dorian loves helping mama with the ingredients.
    -We just recently purchased Kinetic sand also. You can find it online. They have a video tutorial and the stuff is amazing! Great for indoor play!

    Have a wonderful day!

  20. I set up an “obstacle course” for my kids to run, jump, and crawl through. Towels, furniture, balls, and toys can all be used to create a series of obstacles for the kids. It wears them out and then they can sit down and focus on the simple things—a puzzle, book, etc.

  21. Doesn’t it make the bathwater cold?

  22. What a fun, creative idea!

  23. When my brother and I were little and it was too cold to go outside, my mom went out with a bucket, filled it with snow, then dumped it into the kitchen sink. We stood on chairs and built things (using measuring cups, plastic toys etc). We loved it (and stayed warm/dry)!

  24. On rainy days (or freezing cold days) we like to get out baking soda, vinegar and food colouring and make volcanos. We also lay big sheets of paper on the floor and trays of paint and use our hands and feet to create :-) Then fun bath after :-) We’ve even painted in the bath but you need to clean up quickly! My son loves it though!

  25. jm says...

    This is so cool. Plus how fun for ice to to see float/ melt/ etc.

  26. SO fun! this is great to do on the hot sidewalk in the summer also!… on rainy days we build forts, do art projects and cooking projects, have “dance parties” and- the ultimate indoor get-energy-out activity: crash pile! We make a huge pile of cushions and pillow, then run and/or jump onto the pile, over and over… Happy bad weather indoor days! :-)

  27. Sounds like you would get chilly bathwater! Since it’s -11 here, pass :)

  28. This sounds awesome.

    I remember when we were little my dad would swear he saw a little gnome in a little hole in the corner of our bathroom, where the wall met the ceiling. we would spend ages looking up trying to spot it, and only many years later my dad admitted he only said that so that we would look up, so he could wash our hair and prevent any foam getting into our eyes.

    Maggie @ strolling about

  29. Oh my gosh! I love this idea. I’m going to save it. My Son will LOVE this!! Thank you for sharing! :)

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  31. We love to do this with toy dinosaurs in the summertime! I posted about it here:

    Though we’ve never tried it in the tub, I’m definitely on board with this! Thanks for the idea!

  32. Great idea…thanks!! We’ve done ice cubes with food colouring in the bath before…my daughter loved the colours swirling around :)

  33. Don’t the kids get cold playing with ice? I’d love to try it with my nephew but I’m worried his little hands will get too cold..

  34. This is awesome. I don’t have kids, but I’ll have to pass it along to my friends that do!

  35. Balloons! We see how long we can keep it from touching the ground! Love the idea of freezing toys.

  36. This is a great idea – I am saving it for later. Thanks for sharing!

  37. whoa, molly, that sounds AMAZING. .a bounce house sounds incredible. i always daydream about having a mini trampoline:)

  38. Awesome idea! thanks! i will be doing this for sure.

  39. This is when I’m glad I live somewhere inexpensive! we have enough room in our unfurnished living room for a little tikes inflatable bounce house, and a Wilson tennis net with foam tennis balls, and a gymnastics mat. Sometimes I loathe suburbia. Other times I appreciate it!

  40. I have heard of this before, but never tried it! gotta try it once we have a harsher winter — if it ever shows up that is ;)

    Greeting from Switzerland!