Thursday, 9 April 2015

Let's Get Messy!!!

My buddy loves messy play. We try and do some sort of sensory play everyday. Some days, its something as simple as playing in his sandpit or painting and on other days we get a bit more creative.

Sensory play has so many benefits. It helps toddlers and preschoolers build fine motor skills, assists with co-ordination, develops their imaginations and even language development such as learning new words.
If the mere thought of messy play freaks you out, here are some tips to keep things slightly 'cleaner':

  • If its warm take messy play outside.
  • Cover any surfaces that you don't want stained. 
  • Keep an old t-shirt for your child to wear during messy activities to prevent damaging good clothes.
  • Teach your little one to help with cleaning up after the activity and make clean up fun!

So lets get messy!

Playdough is always popular with children. We usually make our own because we go through so much of it!
It's also suitable for younger kids. Here is  the recipe that we use. I usually make a few batches and store it in Ziplock bags in the fridge.

2 and 1/2 cups of water
1 and 1/4 cups of salt
1 and 1/2 tbsps of cream of tartar
5 tbsps of vegetable oil
2 and 1/2 cups of flour
Food colouring
Mix all the above together in a pot and cook on low heat until it starts to come together. Remove from the heat and empty onto a work surface. Once it has cooled down, knead it well. 

Now let your child's imagination run wild! Here are some ideas to get you started:
1) Make brown coloured playdough and use it as cement to build houses with wooden blocks.
2) Use it to hide small toy creatures.
3) Create playdough creatures. Spiders, snakes and monsters are Buddy's speciality! Use pipe cleaners and googly eyes for added fun.
4) Add glitter for glittery playdough.
5) Make different prints in your dough. Handprints, leaf prints, use a textured rolling pin or even stamps.
6) Pretend to cook or bake.

The possibilities are endless!

Erupting Moon Sand
Make exploding moon sand.
1 and 1/2 cups of flour
1 and 1/2 cups of bicarbonate of soda
1/4 cup of sunflower oil
Food colouring of your choice
Mix all the above together.

Buddy enjoyed playing with it like this for a little while.

 Then I gave him a pipette filled with vinegar and the real fun began.

Eventually we poured all the vinegar in...

Shaving foam
Shaving foam always excites children. Mix in food colouring and make shaving foam paint. Freeze it and it becomes 'ice-cream' textured paint. It's great for bath time play as well.

Water beads
Boil tapioca (available at supermarkets) in water mixed with food colouring. When its soft, drain the water and rinse thoroughly. Now let those little fingers start exploring!


This is so much of fun,you'll want to play with it yourself! Its not liquid nor is it solid. You can shape it like playdough, but it won't hold its shape 
(Note: this is not for the little ones that are likely to put it into their mouths)
1 and a half bottles of art and craft white glue
1/3 cup of warm water
Food colouring (you can use green like real flubber, this time Buddy really wanted blue) 
Mix the above together
In another bowl mix:
1/3 cup of warm water
1tsp of borax powder
Slowly add the borax mixture to the glue mixture mixing as you go. 

You may not need all the borax mixture, use as much as you need. If you add too much borax and your flubber ends up too stiff, just add some more glue. 
Use googly eyes to make creatures.
Or add glitter to the flubber for sparkly flubbler. 

There's so much you can do. I'll post some more ideas soon. In the mean time go ahead and try some of these.....your kids will love you! Have fun! 

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