How do you choose which bath toys are best for your child's age and stage – and which ones will keep your little one entertained for more than 3 seconds flat?


"While a 3-month-old will love watching you make bubbles pop and water sprinkle, a 3-year-old is going to be more focused on things they can stack and build, and fill and pour themselves", explains MFM's Helen Brown, head of content delivery and author of Parenting for Dummies.

With that in mind, we’ve been testing a whole load of bath toys with a range of children under the age of 4, as well as with parents and toy experts, to find out which ones kept them smiling – and splashing – the most.

To keep your child cosy after bath time, take a look at our best Oodie alternatives.

Best bath toys at a glance

  • Bburago BB Junior Splash n Play Submarine Projector, £9.99
  • Early Learning Centre Bath Time Tea Party Set, £20
  • Toomies Bubble & Bake Bathtime Kitchen, £19.99
  • Matchstick Monkey Bathtime Wobblers, £14.99
  • Nuby Floating Octopus, £9.50
  • Vtech Splash & Play Elephant, £22.99
  • Infantino Senso Plug and Squirt, £13.95
  • Splash About Splash Jacks, £10
  • Skip Hop Full Up Bee Fountain, £15
  • Water flutes, £7
  • Vtech 6-in-1 Bath Set Toys, £24.99
  • Toomies Bath Barista, £20
  • BB Junior Splash and Play Music Tug Boat, £10.50
  • Matchstick Monkey Bathtime Slide Toy Set, £16.99

Here's our pick of the best bath toys, as tested by children and rated by parents

1. Bburago BB Junior Splash n Play Submarine Projector, £9.99

– Great for light-show fun

More like this
Bburago BB Junior Splash n Play Submarine Projector _

Age suitability: From birth | Best for age: 6 months+ | Batteries: 3 x button cell (included)

An 14cm x 10cm submarine toy with a projector in its base that beams an image of a sea-life scene below it – activated by pressing the periscope.

This previous Toy Awards winner turns humdrum bathtime into a sea-themed light show, as well as being a cool submarine toy. Our baby tester Bella, 12 months, was mesmerised by the lights in her bathwater (and her brother Zac, 6, was pretty impressed, too). "The idea behind this is so original," said their mum Anna, "and my kids loved the fact it's not like their other bath toys. Zac also projected the images on the wall to make a disco in our lounge! In the bath, Bella clapped her hands and pointed at the animals and images. I think this toy will be last a long time." Great value too.

Available at: OnBuy and Toy Street

2. Early Learning Centre Bath Time Tea Party Set, £20

– Great for role play

Early Learning Centre Bath Time Tea Party Set

Age suitability: 12 months+ | Best for age: 18 months+ | Batteries: None

A tea time set on a floating 34cm x 18cm tray that can be used in the bath. It includes a transparent teapot, 3 cake-shaped water squirters and 2 tea-cup-shaped sieves. The tray also doubles up as a shape sorter.

Pretend tea parties are already a firm favourite with many children – so creating a set specially designed for bathtime is an ingenious idea. A previous Silver winner in our Toy Awards, this was a big hit with our child tester Elizabeth, 18 months, and her twin sister. Their mum Alexandra said, "My girls found it so exciting. They loved pretending to have tea and cake, pouring the water from the teapot and trying to catch it coming through the cup sieves." We like the shape sorter, too– a nice extra touch.

Available at: ELC and Marks and Spencer

3. Toomies Bubble & Bake Bathtime Kitchen, £19.99

– Great for creative play

Matchstick Monkey Bathtime Wobblers

Age suitability: 18 months+ | Best for age: 18 months+ | Batteries: None

A 28cm x 15cm x 21cm bathtime pretend-cooking set with suction pads, featuring an oven, hob and sink. There's a pump tap at the sink (which you can also fill) and an option to create bath foam using bubble bath. Comes with a ladle, saucepan and pie dish.

It's fun to see a new bathtime angle (and like the tea tray higher in our list, refreshing to see one that isn’t sea or fish-related), and home testers in previous Toy Awards were impressed. Our toddler testers' parents felt the quality was good and this is a toy that would probably last Hannah, mum to our toddler tester Poppy, 2, said, "She loved playing with this. It can be used in the bath but also out of it, which I really like. My children have just started doing role play and this has been great: they use the sink and tap to pretend they're giving their other bath toys a wash, then use the hob, saucepan and oven to 'cook dinner'." Our only gripe would be that the suction pads could be a little stickier.

Available at: Smyths Toys and Argos

4. Matchstick Monkey Bathtime Wobblers, £14.99

– Great for wobbly bobbing

Toomies Bubble n Bake Bathtime Kitchen

Age suitability: 12 months+ | Best for age: 12 months+ | Batteries: Non

A pack of two 10cm-tall monkeys that wobble and float in the bath. Made from silicone and coated in antimicrobial protection to keep mould at bay.

These cheeky monkeys are smooth, tactile and well-made. Their bold, smiling faces might be designed to appeal to toddlers but their soothing, subtle colours also got our parent testers’ vote. They're also ultra-hygienic, impressing our judges in previous Toy Awards. "I love that they're completely sealed and coated," said Phoebe, mum to our toddler tester Fergus, 16 months."It's great my little boy can play with these and I can have peace of mind he's not chomping on mouldy bits!"

Available at: Matchstick Monkey

5. Nuby Floating Octopus, £9.50

– Great for hand-eye coordination

Nuby Floating Octopus

Age suitability: 18 months+ | Best for age: 18 months+ | Batteries: None

This floating purple octopus comes with three colourful hoops to throw onto its tentacles. The vibrant colours, patterns and shapes will stimulate your children's senses, while the game will help improve hand-eye coordination.

The octopus is BPA-free, soft to play with and fully sealed so no water will get in. And you can also take it outside of the bath too so it's a super versatile toy for all the kids to enjoy.

Available at: Nuby, Amazon

6. Vtech Splash & Play Elephant, £22.99

– Great for entertainment value

Vtech Splash & Play Elephant

Age: 12 months+ | Best for age: 12 months+ | Batteries: 1 x AAA (not included)

A singing elephant that sticks to the side of your bath and squirts water from its trunk. It has all sorts of accessories, from manipulative beads, a spring back seahorse, a spinning starfish and a wobbling water container to a twisting foot, a sliding leg and a scoop accessory.

There's plenty to be playing with in this bath toy! Our child testers were fascinated by the light-up snorkel button that you press to hear phrases and sounds. We like that it features 4 sing-along songs and 15 melodies, so you don't get too frustrated hearing the same tune all the time. It's not cheap but if you want all-singing, all-splashing bath toy, this is it.

Available at: Amazon and Argos

7. Infantino Senso Plug and Squirt, £13.95

– Great for babies


Age suitability: 6 months+ | Best for age: 9 months+ | Batteries: None

A set of 4 16cm-high squirty bathtime friends (octopus, sea horse, turtle and frog) which you can pull apart and snap back together in different combinations.

Our baby testers loved these characters' friendly faces and gentle squirtiness – and the older ones loved switching and swapping the colourful heads and bottoms to create silly 'octohorses' and 'frogtles'. Lyndsay, mum of our baby tester Grace, 9 months, said, "I think they are great and the fact they come apart is brilliant. They also feel durable, well-made and soft to the touch."

Available at: OnBuy

8. Splash About Splash Jacks, £10

– Great for teething babies

splash jacks bath toy

Age suitability: 3 months+ | Best for age: 6 months+ | Batteries: None

A set of 3 5cm-diameter BPA and phthalate-free water-safe natural rubber balls with protruding knobs designed for a teething babies to gnaw and chew.

We really like the bright colours and the noduled shapes that are just the right size for little fingers – and gums. The balls also have no air hole – which stops water entering and mould from building up. Laura, mum of our baby tester Lola, 8 months, said: "Lola really enjoyed bopping these under water in the bath and trying to catch them as they floated around her. They work fantastically as teethers out of the water, too, and are obviously very satisfying to chew on as she can get the little nodules right to the back of her mouth."

Available at: SplashAbout

9. Skip Hop Full Up Bee Fountain, £15

– Great for a soothing water cascade


Age suitability: 9 months+ | Best for age: 12 months+ | Batteries: None

A 30cm-tall fill-up-and-spill water shower toy with 2 easy-to-grab handles in a super cute bee design.

We really rated this bath toy's friendly face and grabbable handles and the very gentle spill of cascading water that comes out. The fact it's made from PVC and phthalate-free materials is also a huge bonus. It's lovely and soothing and looks really cute too. You could probably get the same sort of fun from stacking cups but the design makes this product stand out.

Available at: Amazon

10. Water flutes, £7

– Great for musical fun


Age suitability: 3+ | Best for age: 3+ | Batteries: None

A colourful set of 26cm-high plastic flutes that you can fill up to different levels with water and then then blow through to ‘play’ different notes. Comes with 5 colour-coded waterproof music sheets.

Our child testers loved the whole process of filling up the pipes and then playing the notes. Most of them found playing an actual tune (following the music sheets) pretty tricky and said, actually, just tooting around 'freestyle' is way more fun. It does require a bit more brain power than some of the other toys listed here, so is better suited to older toddlers but musical kids will love it. It's also a really reasonable price.

Available at: Amazon and Mulberry Bush

11. Vtech 6-in-1 Bath Set Toys, £24.99

– Great for independent play

Vtech 6-in-1 Bath Set Toys

Age suitability: From birth | Best for age: 6 months+ | Batteries: None | Awards: Gold, MadeForMums Toy Awards 2023

A six-in-one bath set featuring shape blocks, animal cups, balls, stackable boats, a zebra net, elephant squirter and giraffe.

Let your child's imagination flow with this animal-themed set of bath toys, encouraging role play and creativity.

From filling up the giraffe with water, squirting water from the elephant squirter, and pouring water with the animal cups, to stacking the multi-coloured boats and using the bath net to scoop up the balls, there's plenty to keep them entertained while in the tub.

Great for little hands and enhancing motor skills and problem solving. And you can even pile up some of the pieces into the zebra's net after bath time for convenient storage.

Available at: Mamas & Papas, Argos and Smyths Toys

12. Toomies Bath Barista, £20

– Great for little hands

Toomies Bath Barista

Age suitability: 18 months+ | Best for age: 18 months+ | Batteries: None | Awards: Silver, MadeForMums Toy Awards 2023

A bath-friendly coffee machine, complete with shakers, spinners, dials and handles for fully immersive play, ideal for little ones keen to copy their grown-up's routines. The toy features useful suction pads to fit onto wall tiles and bath sides.

Watch them as they open up their own café from the bath tub, creating make believe lattes and cappuccinos to help bathtime fly by. Pour water with the jug, place a cup under the filter and use the handle twist to make up their beverages and serve up bath-time coffee. There's a foamer too - simply fill with bubble bath and water and create frothy bubbles.

Available at: Very, Argos, John Lewis

13. BB Junior Splash and Play Music Tug Boat, £10.50

– Great for learning cause and effect

BB Junior Splash and Play Music Tug Boat

Age suitability: 12 months+ | Best for age: 12-36 months | Batteries: None | Awards: Bronze, MadeForMums Toy Awards 2023

Super simple and great value, just twist and play. Wind up the motor by turning the rescue ring and the boat will be off, gliding around the bath.

Little water fans will love watching it go, while also helping them understand the principles of cause and effect. A robust design to withstand babies and toddlers in action!

Available at: Amazon

14. Matchstick Monkey Bathtime Slide Toy Set, £16.99

– Great for a simple game

Matchstick Monkey Bathtime Slide Toy Set

Age suitability: 12 months+ | Best for age: 12 months+ | Batteries: None | Awards: Gold, MadeForMums Awards 2023

This bath toy set from Matchstick Monkey (known for it's beautifully designed teethers) includes a slide and three colourful animal rollerballs. The slide easily attaches to the bath using suction grips and is made from BPA-free silicone and ABS material, and contains BioCote Antimicrobial Protection for safe bathing (and mould prevention).

Kids will love placing the characters on the slide and land with a splash into their bubble bath, and it will also encourage hand-eye coordination and problem-solving skills.

Available at: Baby Mori, Mamas & Papas


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Cordelia AspinallDigital Writer

Cordelia Aspinall is a Digital Writer for Immediate Media, working across brands including The Recommended,, MadeForMums and BBC Gardeners’ World. She has previously worked and written for digital publications including Condé Nast Traveller, The Evening Standard, Cosmopolitan, and several other lifestyle brands.