Best Bath Toy
Catch and release with the Munchkin Fishin' Bath Toy, a colorful fishing rod with a magnetic bobber, plus three magnetic underwater sea creatures that float and bob around the tub. The fishing pole and bobber float, and the reel makes an audible clicking sound when in use. Our toddler tester had an exciting time playing with this toy, and her imagination ran wild. We appreciate that this toy can help strengthen hand-eye coordination and can be used in more ways than one.
The sea creatures are entirely sealed, but the pole and bobber have holes that collect water and require a good shake after use, plus they have nooks that may grow mold over time. Also, the line does not actually reel up. We feel this toy is best suitable for a toddler, and we recommend it to a family who is ready to do some bathtub fishing.
Explore the depths of the tub with the Green Toys Submarine. This sub can submerge or float on the surface, and water can pass through the portholes and the nose of the toy. Also, the propeller can spin by giving it a turn by hand. While testing, our toddler found this toy to be an excellent addition to her imaginary play. The handle on top made it easy to hold and maneuver around the tub. This product is 100% recycled plastic, free of BPA, PVC, and phthalates. Plus, it contains no external coatings. We appreciate the Green Toy company's commitment to making products out of recycling, a positive environmental impact by reducing plastic that ends up in the landfill.
The packaging states, "Toy opens for easy cleaning," and we did not find this to necessarily be the case. Although the blue handle on top opens, we were unsuccessful in opening the sub vessel. With limited view inside the ship, we worry about nooks and crannies that may grow mold over time. Rinsing and thoroughly drying this product after each use, plus an occasional deep clean will help prevent mold growth. Despite the lack of access to the ship's inside, we found this bath toy fun and recommend it to families with an older baby or toddler who will appreciate this sub for bathtub adventures and imaginary play.
Don't be fooled by this toy's simplicity; The First Years Stack Up Cup Toys are a classic toy that will satisfy your child's desire to fill, pour, stack, or nest in the bathtub. It comes with a set of eight colorful cups, and each container has one or more holes to scoop up water and create a waterfall. Both our toddler and baby testers found these cups entertaining, and our toddler enjoyed a game of imaginary play. Also, we found these cups quick to air dry or easy to wipe with a towel.
With eight cups to look after, we worry that one may be lost. Thankfully it comes with a flower-shaped clip, which helps hold the cups together. Nevertheless, this budget-friendly toy is fun for all ages, and it has endless possibilities. We recommend this inexpensive bath toy to any family with older babies or toddlers.
Colorful and adorable, the Munchkin Bath Bobbers comes in a set of two, and this duo will float, bob, and spin around in the tub. We appreciate that these bobbers are sealed with no holes, meaning no nooks and crannies for mold to grow. Our baby tester found these creatures fun to watch, hold, and drop, creating some fun splashes and giggles. Also, we found these toys easy to clean and quick to dry, which is a perk for busy parents.
There is no big drawback to this toy as they are simple and straightforward, and our only observation is that they can easily float away from the baby's reach in a large tub. We recommend this toy to families with babies who are looking for a fun toy for bath time, yet one that is easy to dry and clean for parents.
Coming in a set of five, the Boon Stacking Boats are minimal in appearance, yet add a pop of color and entertainment to bath time. These boats float, scoop, pour, plus drain water through its holes, providing a waterfall effect. Our toddler tester enjoyed the challenge of stacking the boats based on their sizes and watching how they can float around the tub. The Boon boats are plastic and free of BPA, phthalates, and PVC. We appreciate that there are no cracks or holes to grow mold. Simply rinse boats after each use and place them in a location to dry. Also, they stack for easy storage.
This toy has no significant drawbacks, and the only observation we were able to collect is that some children may need help differentiating the sizes to stack. We recommend the Boon Stacking Boats to families with babies or toddlers who are interested in an alternative to stacking cups.
The Boon Cogs Water Gears are five colorful gear-shaped bath toys that suction to the bath or shower wall, and either turn by hand or by pouring water. They can spin individually or link together. Our preschool-age tester had a fun time creating various gear configurations and learning how to suction them to the tub. To clean you simply rinse the gears after each use and allow them to air dry thoroughly. Occasionally, wash them with warm soapy water.
Sometimes the suction power can be weak, and one or two gears will fall to the tub floor. Also, the gears have some nooks and crannies that will need to be occasionally cleaned to manage mold. We recommend this product for a budding engineer or a curious youngster who will enjoy getting these gears to spin.
With a pull of the string, the Skip Hop Pull and Go Submarine Monkey will cruise across the tub. The submarine does not fully submerge. Instead, it floats. The sub's bright colors and adorable captain monkey is eye-catching for its cuteness. Our toddler tester found this toy entertaining, especially as it zipped through bubbles. Our baby tester, obviously too little to pull the string to activate the propeller, watched with a smile. The manufacturer mentions that this toy is excellent for strengthening fine-motor skills, which are needed to pull the line, plus it teaches about cause and effect. Also, this plastic product is BPA, PVC, and phthalate-free.
The toy has holes to let water through and allow the toy to sink a bit. However, we cannot access or see inside the holes to keep an eye on potential mold growth. Also, when you remove the toy from the tub, water collects in the holes, and it may need a good shake or flip from side to side to help water escape. All in all, this product did require extra drying effort in comparison to other products in our review. We recommend this toy to families with babies or toddlers who will enjoy seeing this monkey ride around the tub and don't mind the extra effort to clear it of water.
Play a game of toss with the Nuby Floating Octopus with 3 Hoopla Rings. This toy is sealed from water, with no holes for mold to grow inside, or nooks and crannies for mold to hide, making this product easy to clean and dry for parents. We found this toy fun for imaginary play, and we appreciate that this product will help your little one practice hand-eye coordination as your toddler places or throws the hoops onto the legs.
We find the hoops unsuitable for babies as they will want to put them in their mouths. We recommend this product to families with children who have passed the stage of placing objects in their mouths.
Why You Should Trust Us
The BabyGearLab team has been testing gear for eight years. We purchase and test each product taking them through hands-on, side-by-side comparisons to determine which competitors are real standouts in their categories. Leading this review is Molly Bradac, Research Analyst, and professional Nanny and Newborn Care Specialist, holding over 14 years of experience. Also contributing to our review are multiple little testers, ranging in ages from six-months-old to preschool. Each product in our review was purchased and experienced hands-on testing.
Analysis and Test Results
Tons of splashing, playing, and drying went into testing these toys so that we could assess each product. We purchased a variety of products to help parents find the best products for their babies and needs. With a market full of options, it can be tricky to know what you are buying and how easy it is to clean. Our hands-on testing provides the information you need to help make your decision easier.
Ease of Drying and Cleaning
Regardless of which toy you purchase, it should be easy to dry and occasionally deep clean since mold and bacteria love wet and warm environments. Toys with nooks and crannies, especially with spaces that are not easily accessible, like the Green Toys Submarine and the Skip Hop Pull and Go Submarine Monkey may stay damp and encourage mold growth. Plus, inaccessible areas will make deep cleaning more challenging. On the flip side, the Munchkin Bath Bobbers, the Boon Stacking Boats, and The First Years Stack Up Cup Toys are easier options to manage as they do not have nooks and crannies to host mold, they are quick to air dry or wipe down with a towel, plus easy to deep clean on an occasional basis.
When it comes to this metric, we want to know which products are easy to store, making this important information for those with small bathroom spaces. The Boon Stacking Boats and The First Years Stack Up Cup Toys nest within each other and conserve storage space. However, the Green Toys Submarine is one of the largest toys, followed by the Munchkin Fishin' Bath Toy, which is one of the longest, yet slim, with three sea-creates to keep track of. Alternatively, the Boon Cogs Water Gears suction to the bath or shower wall, requiring no storage space at all.
Your baby's work is to play, and bath time is a perfect time for your little one to reap the benefits of parent-child interactions, plus explore and learn. From imaginary play with water-loving creatures to filling and pouring with cups, we are confident there is a water toy here that will meet your needs and budget. Your little one will be splish-splashing and having fun in the tub in no time.
— Molly Bradac