Half term messy play

Rain rain go away, half term is expensive and my child becomes feral stuck indoors.
In true school holiday form the impending forecast is of course grey with a dash of rain with a little touch of "dear god, why do this to me"
I hope it proves me wrong but if it doesn't messy play is your friend, especially if your purse is feeling the strain.

Now after a holiday the last thing I want to be doing is spending all the money in the cinema, soft play x 5 days.
I do however get bored. Messy play gives me a bit of a break and her a lot of fun.
Now I have a store box dedicated to this but I had to re buy a lot of bits. The great thing about messy play is that it does not have to be expensive. It can be tailored to your house, and it does not have to stain your child, home and soul.
I raided waitrose essentials today and the pound shop as I was in a rush and they were the closest. However this stuff can be bought a lot cheaper from Asdas smartprice range, from Tescos, Savers etc.

I am going to write a list of essentials and then I am going to give you some ideas. Now all of them can be adapted with whatever bits, toys and containers you have in your house.

First of all. A cheap wipeable mat. A tuff spot tray, a small builders tray and aprons. These are great messy play items to have. 

The list

Child friendly paint
Unscented shaving foam
Food colouring
Baby oil
Tubed pasta
Porridge large oats
Foam letters
Rice Krispies/coco pops
Paint pots and brushes

Some ideas

Coloured rice or noodle play;

So I use large sandwich bags and separate rice or noodles into a few bags. I then use a lot of drops of food colouring on the noodles which I have cooked as instructed and mostly cooled. I use paint on uncooked rice as it takes to it really well. Then I let them dry which is about an hour.
These are so visually lovely as I do 2 or 3 colours so it often looks rainbow like.
The playing part, well this can be done with chopsticks, role play dishes, scoops, spoons, cups, small characters hiding. Trucks delivering loads. Anything and everything. Rice cream parlour? Why not.

Snow all year;

This is a lovely lovely activity and your hands feel super soft after.
I mix flour with baby oil. Not loads but enought that the "snow" is a bit mouldable.
If you want it to be whiter use cornflour instead but flour is cheaper.
I then either add sand toys or make a little snow village using characters and things I have bought from the poundshop garden section.

Ice block play;

Have tupperware and room in your fridge? Perfect, fill them with water and add anything. Leaves, flowers, lego, characters, spoons, glitter, food colouring, your soul.
Freeze and voila. This is especially good on a hot day in the garden but fine in a tray indoors too. This will also be a great patience test for you all.

Shaving foam play;

Unscented shaving foam in a tray is such a sensory explosion. It feels so nice to squidge. Get those ice cream bowls out and add sprinkles (glitter) hide Peppa and her pals in it....

Cornflour play;

If you have never done this before. You are welcome. You will probably push your childs hand out of the way so you can feel.
Pour cornflour into tray or deep bowl. Add water and food colouring. Mix. You do not want it to be too wet. This is a great activity and watch it harden then melt in your hand. I like this one as it makes her think. She likes it because she can slime her toys. Plus it is sooo easy to clean.

Jelly play;

Make jelly as instructed. Pour into large bowl. Add toys. Set. Squelch.


I am not going to give you a recipe as google can help you out but we sometimes do a cupcake cafe and add lemon, coffee, strawberry essence to our playdough and colouring then play with cupcake cases, trays, money etc.

Gem hunt;

Those glass round pebbles you see in the garden center. Stock up on various colours. We use them in gem hunts in flour, slime, rice, shaving foam. We play colour wars, we practice our pincer grips using chopsticks and we have cups of gem tea.

Glowstick bath;

Now you may have to put on some rave music and occasionally shout "your names not down, your not coming in" but this is just a simple bath and glowsticks activity. It is fun.

So many messy play ideas can come from a few ingrediants. Like I said before tailor it with what you have in your house.
These ideas are to be supervised.
So go stock up. It will be worth it,

A x


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