I recently visited friends who were very positive about wanting to do messy play activities with their daughter but weren’t really sure where to start. Also they both had really busy lives so didn’t want activities which took lots of time to set up or clear away.
This made me think about really easy ways you can encourage messy play at home without lots of hassle. Here are my suggestions for easy messy play activities at home, please try them out and let me know what you think or any other suggestion you have.
1) Rice and lentils
In a washing up bowl or mixing bowl put a few handfuls of rice, lentil, dried peas or whatever you have at the back of the cupboard. Then provide a few spoons and plastic cups or bowls. You may find that just filing and emptying the bowls will keep small people entertained for much longer than you expect!
2) Cereal and mashers
A plastic tray, rice snaps or cornflakes and a potato masher. This makes a brilliant noise and encourages fine motor skills.
3) A sink half full
Very, very simple this one but it keeps my 3 year old entertained while I am cooking dinner. Fill the kitchen sink with bubbly water and a few plastic animals (dinosaurs are preferable in our house!) or even just some plastic utensils. It is amazing to see how much fun bubbly water is for preschoolers.
4) Bringing the garden inside
Spend a while in the garden or park collecting sticks, stones, moss and soil. Bring them home and let your children make their own mini garden for digging in by putting your treasures in an old cardboard box and the providing a spade or old spoon.
5) Cloud dough
In a bowl mix together a few cups of flour (any sort) with a cup of baby oil. Then provide a small jug or water mixed with paint or food colouring. Let your little one add the water and mix with a spoon to see how the consistency and/or colour changes.
Thanks go to G and J for their inspiration for this blog, enjoy getting your hands messy!!