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Washing babies

What you need

  • Doll baby
  • Baby bath or shallow container such as tupperware or a tray, deep enough to hold some water
  • Small jug or cup for pouring
  • Small towel 
  • Wash cloth/sponge 
  • Baby bubble bath (optional)


Recreating familiar scenes from children’s own lives is an essential part of early role play. Even very young children enjoy pretending to be like their parents. Fine and gross motor skills will be developed through pouring, squeezing water, drying the baby, etc. This experience develops the baby care experience introduced last week.

The experience

Set up a baby bath area – this would be ideal to be done outdoors on a warm day or on a floor where spillages can be easily mopped up! 

Provide a container or tray with a small amount of water (you may wish to add bubble bath to make it more life-like), add a sponge or cloth your child can use for washing their baby, a small towel to dry baby off with and a small jug or a cup that your child can use for gathering and pouring the water. 

Play with your child, pretending to care for the baby and give them a bath. Model how to gently hold the doll and place in the water. Use the cloth or sponge to wipe over the baby. You can even take special care to wash the baby’s ‘hair’, showing your child how they can scoop and pour the water using their cup/jug. 

Encourage your child to dry off the baby with the towel. Throughout the experience, talk about what you are doing to help develop your child’s vocabulary, e.g. ‘Now we wash baby’s hair, let’s pour the water….where is the baby’s head?’