So Christmas and New Year are over. Whether you have a new year resolution to do more messy activities or just wish to dip your toe into the world of messy play. Start with the cheaper, simpler items and don’t over think it. Just because to us, as adults it doesn’t appear interesting or fun doesn’t mean it isn’t to your little one. You don’t need much equipment or stuff to play. Fingers, hands, spoons, cups, bowls, bricks or blocks anything and everything can be mixed together for a messy sensory adventure.
Whether cooked or raw, pasta makes a great sensory play item. You can add colour by cooking it then mixing in liquid food colouring. Just add a small amount of vegetable oil to ensure it doesn’t stick together. NB Cooked pasta is best for those exploring with their mouths.
Rice is brilliant for a dry play experience, add liquid food colouring and a bit of white/distilled vinegar to a tub and shake. Then lay it out and leave to dry. Even I struggle to stop running my hands through the drying rice! You could even make several colours, for rainbow sensory fun. (be warned you may be finding dry rice around your house for weeks, some how you always miss one grain!)
Plain ordinary flour is a big mess but children love it. It feels like clouds according to my five year old! Soft fluffy, light and white. Just add any toy, kid safe utensil or bowl, it just adds to the fun! Painting each other in flour is good fun too! Use cornflour to double up on the messy potential!
Once they have exhausted the cornflour on its own, why not add water and make gloop. Looks like water, feels hard when pressed but escapes through your fingers like a liquid. Gloop is brilliant for messy sensory fun mainly due to the fact its puzzling. It really can appear to be like a cloudy water when no one touches it for a while, then when you press down or squeeze it, it feels semi solid, then pull your hand up and it all escapes through your fingers. Plus it separates if left to settle, hard mess at the bottom and watery at the top.
Good old sand. It easy (in the summer at least) to come by and reminds you of those holidays you long for. They can mold it, sieve it, add water and make mud with it and just generally have a whale of a time. If you have cars or trucks or bricks or anything else trying adding them for mark making too.
These are my simplest choices for messy play to beat those January blues.
As always with messy play ensure you do not leave your child unsupervised, by the same token join in but don’t take control.