Messy play

All children learn through play, and messy play is an excellent way for children to explore the world around them.

You can use lots of different things for messy play, from water to sand, shaving foam to jelly – it’s all about giving children the opportunity to discover different textures and sensations.

Just have a towel, facecloth or something to clean up with on standby for the aftermath!

Try some different materials one by one in a large bowl or bucket. Start with dry textures like rice or pasta and work up to the really messy stuff.

Get them to describe how each one feels as you go along. This is great for language development and their answers are always entertaining.

How to make your own playdough

You will need: 2 cups plain flour (all purpose), 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, ½ cup salt, up to 1.5 cups boiling water (adding bit by bit until it feels just right), food colouring (optional – this really can get messy!).

You might also want to use some household items like child-friendly cookie cutters and rolling pins to make shapes with the playdough.

What to do:

  1. Mix the flour, salt and oil in a large bowl. If you’re using food colouring, add it to the boiling water then pour into the flour mixture.
  2. Stir until it forms a sticky dough.
  3. Allow it to cool down then take out of the bowl and knead it for a couple of minutes until all of the stickiness has gone. 
  4. Keep kneading until it’s the perfect consistency! If it’s still sticky add a little more flour until just right.

If the children want to keep the figures that you make, simply bake in a 250 degree oven for approximately one hour and hey presto, your play dough will harden!

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