Parenting

Your kid's rubber duck is full of mold—here's what to buy instead

These toys are fun, hygienic, and promise to stay mold-free

Toddler playing with a rubber origami boat in a bucket full of bath suds. Credit: Oli & Carol

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Bathtime really is one of our favorite times of day and great bath toys make it even more fun. But, if you’re thinking of getting the quintessential squirt toy, it’s time to rethink things. Squeaky and squirting bath toys tend to hold water, creating a dangerous breeding ground for bacteria and mold.

There are lots of mistakes that can be made with buying bath toys, so we've done the work for you. Here are a few of our favorites that are fun, engaging, easy to clean, hygienic, and super-safe. Apologies in advance for prune-y fingers and toes.

1. A duck named Elvis

Elvis
Credit: Oli & Carol

Meet Elvis! He's the new rubber ducky on the block.

Best for ages: 0 and up
Let’s start with a new spin on a classic. No bath time is complete without a rubber ducky! This one is named Elvis and he’s hand-crafted with natural rubber and food-grade dyes to be safe for bathtime and beyond. The hole-free design keeps water out, making Elvis a hygienic and mold-free toy when he’s floating about, for worry-free bathtime play.

Get Elvis the Duck at Oli & Carol for $14.99

2. A set of colorful critters

Ubbi
Credit: Ubbi

Kiddos can swap the tops and bottoms of these interchangeable pieces to make new and creative creatures.

Best for ages: 0 to 3
This curious and colorful fun bunch includes four interchangeable critters: a green seal, an orange octopus, a yellow crab, and a blue whale. Their snap closures let kids mix and match their tops and bottoms to create new, imaginative creatures and their individual drain holes make for a variety of fun rain effects. These can be left open to dry, are dishwasher-safe, and are PVC- and phthalate-free.

Get the Ubbi interchangeable and mold-free critter 4-pack at Amazon for $9.99

3. A submarine to fill and splash with

sub
Credit: Inspiration Toys

This submarine-style funnel adds excitement to bath time when it shoots water and buoyant balls.

Best for ages: 1 to 6
This cute little cause-and-effect toy is engaging, interactive, and brings silly excitement to bath time. The submarine-style container easily attaches to a tub or shower wall, where kids fill it with the yellow balls and water and press the orange button to release a tsunami of fun. Bonus: It stays hanging so it easily air-dries after play.

Get the Fill N Splash Submarine at Amazon for $10.99

4. A safe squirting toy

Squeeze
Credit: Marcus & Marcus

These easy-to clean marine creatures are the only squirting toys we recommend.

Best for ages: 1 to 5
Squirting toys are what bathtime is all about, but most squirting toys get filled with mold, making them unsafe. This set of brightly colored sea creatures with Cheshire Cat-like smiles satisfy a kid's need to squeeze and spray water, while keeping everything clean and spore-free. These silicone bath toys are made of 100% non-toxic food grade silicone, and designed with two detachable pieces for easy cleaning. They are even dishwasher-safe for simple sterilization.

Get the Marcus & Marcus mold-free squirting bath toys 3-pack at Maisonette for $14.99

5. A super-safe origami boat

OrigamiBoat
Credit: Oli & Carol

This origami boat is cute, stylish, and perfectly hygienic.

Best for ages: 0 to 3
This adorable origami boat is sweet, stylish, and is so safe that it can double as a teether. Made with 100% natural rubber from Malaysian Hevea trees, it is soft, easy to grasp and—since it’s certified PVC-, BPA-, phthalates-, and nitrosamines-free—it’s completely safe to chew. We also love the hole-free design, which keeps it hygienic.

Get the origami boat at Oli & Carol for $16.99

6. A set of gears and cogs

Boongeers
Credit: Boon

This gear and tube set will ignite their inner engineer.

Best for ages: 18 months to 7
This set is great for some sudsy STEM learning during bathtime fun. We’ve had this set of gears for years and can vouch for the fact that it’s a seriously satisfying bath toy that’s great for a range of ages. This toy has longevity and staying power and is just as much fun for toddlers as it is for kids on the cusp of preferring showers to baths.

Get the Boon 13-piece pipe and tube bath toy set at BuyBuyBaby for $29.99

7. A fishing rod they’ll be hooked on

Fishing
Credit: Boon

This fishing rod has a working reel!

Best for ages: 2 months to 5
Add a little bait to bathtime. This set has a working reel and weighted hooks which allows for some seriously fun fishing action so they can snag whatever floats by. This little set is a fun way for little ones to build manual dexterity and comes with three colorful floating sea creatures.

Get the Boon cast bath toy at Target for $9.99

8. An elephant toy with some funnel fun

Yookidoo
Credit: Yookidoo

This bath time elephant is tons of fun!

Best for ages: 18 months to 7
This spraying elephant toy comes with three interchangeable trunk accessories, including a spinning water mill, a twistable trunk spray, and a sprinkler nozzle. This toy will seriously spark some STEM and imaginative play. Especially made for small hands, it is easy to grasp by the ears and fill with water, and it easily air dries.

Get the Yookidoo FunElefun sprinkle bath toy at Target for $12.99

9. A Swedish set of stackable cups

Stokke
Credit: Stokke

Never underestimate the power of simplicity.

This set of cups by the iconic Swedish baby brand Stokke may seem unassuming, but they are loads of fun to play with and will engage kids for years to come. Each colorful cup has a different feature—from no holes to a pour spout to a rain spout. Kids can engage in a variety of different experiments and, when they are done, this set is perfect for pouring water over freshly washed hair. When they are all done it nests together for storage. It's also dishwasher-safe, which we love.

Get the Stokke Flexi-bath Toy Cups at Maisonette for $14.99

10. A mini water park for the bath

Yookidoo
Credit: Yookidoo

This battery-operated set is like a water park for the bath!

Best for ages: 1 and up
Why not turn bath time into a waterpark wonderland? There is really no end to the fun that can be had when the battery-operated pump on this shoots an endless stream of bathwater that squirts and spins its way to getting kiddos clean—all while teaching basic STEM concepts. The interchangeable cups allow for fun experimentation. When they're finished playing, this toy drip and air-dries easily.

Get the Yookidoo Spin & Sort Spout set at Amazon for $27.95

11. Light up their bath time

GloPals
Credit: Glo Pals

These light up cubes may bring a little 90s rave action to tub time.

Best for ages: 3 and up
These colorful smiling Glo Pals turn bath time into party time! These light up sensory cubes activate when they get wet for captivating water play. Just get some '90s rave music going and bathtime will never be the same. These Glo Pals LED lights turn on as soon as they are submerged, turn off when they are dry, and their luminescent fun lasts for 16 to 18 hours.

Get the 12-pack light up Glo Pals water cubes at Target for $32.95

12. A set of… blocks?

Blocks
Credit: Lakeshore Learning

These blocks float and stick together to keep their constructions in place.

Best for ages: 3 and up
That’s right—blocks! Blocks probably aren’t the first thing you think of when you think bath toys, but these foam building blocks will have you changing your tune. This stackable 30-piece set not only allows for loads of building opportunities, but the blocks actually stick together, making for stable creations that allow for lots of imaginative play.

Get the design and build learning blocks at Lakeshore Learning for $29.99

13. A submarine and tugboat combo

Boats
Credit: Green Toys

This tugboat and submarine set is sturdy enough for bath time and pool play.

Best for ages: 1 and up
Made from recycled milk jugs, this eco-friendly toy set offers plenty of opportunity for play. This set floats for action-packed adventure play and pours and streams water, too. These toys also function as perfect vessels for gaining buy-in when you’re pouring water on kiddos to wash their hair. (Genius!) This dishwasher-safe set is just as sturdy inside as is it is for pool play. The toys dry easily and come apart if you need to get them squeaky clean.

Get the Green Toys boat and submarine combo pack at Amazon for $24.95

14. A building bath set for older kids

ELOT
Credit: ELOT

This DIY track makes for some serious STEM fun during bath time.

Best for ages: 3 and up
If you have an older kiddo who is still loving bath time, this set will inspire their inner engineer. This set of durable, interchangeable track sticks together and suctions to any smooth surface for kids to build all sorts of courses to pour water and send balls rolling down. This building set is best for older kids, so be sure to keep the small balls away from children under three years old.

Get the ELOT bath toys buildable slide, waterfall, and tube set for $25.99

15. Some fruity bath bombs

bombs
Credit: Sky Organics

These fizzy bath bombs have fun and fruity names.

Best for ages: 4 and up
These all natural, vegan, tutti-fruity bath bombs are phthalate-, formaldehyde-, sulfate-, and cruelty-free. We know that’s a whole lot of qualifiers so let’s cut to the chase: They are fun and fizzy and filled with cute animal toys and kids are going to love them. These vibrant bombs come in the most fun and fruity flavors like blueberry blast, banana split, and… monkey farts! Hey, that may not be the first scent you think of when you are cleaning up after a long day but, I assure you, that’s the first scent kids go for, so roll with it!

Get the Sky Organics bath bomb gift set at Splashe for $24.99

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