The benefits of messy play for your child are well-documented, and in our classes you don’t even have to worry about obtaining all of the necessary supplies and cleaning up afterwards. You can instead leave us at Little Squigglers to do all of that for you.

But, should you wish to indulge in some messy play at home with your little one. Here are our five favourite really messy ideas for 2016 – it’s been so hard to choose, we may have to add more soon…

 

Body painting

Body Painting

Why limit your little ones to finger paints? Given half a chance under 5’s will paint their hands, feet, faces, arms- you name it! The thought of it may make you uncomfortable, but they really are learning so much being allowed to explore in this way. You can always wait until the warmer weather and pop them in an empty paddling pool to explore with paints. Or, if you’re feeling braver pop an old sheet down on the kitchen floor, squirt some paint onto paper plates and let them explore and create. There are so many child safe paints available to buy, but also a huge amount of homemade paint recipes available too. Go on, give it a go!

 

Bubble play

Bubble Play

Bubbles are, as children who have spent time watching their parents washing up could attest, easy to make. Just get a big bowl of water, squirt some washing up liquid in it and… you know the rest. The more washing up liquid you use; the more bubbles you will create. Give little ones whisks and spoons and they’ll soon mix up even more bubbles. We, and those at netmums.com love coloured bubbles too, so add some paint or food colouring to make the bubbles colourful – and then you could even make pictures with prints of the bubbles!

 

Miniature gardening

Miniature Gardening

Maybe your little one loves spending time gardening, like a junior Alan Titchmarsh or Kim Wilde. In this case, you could nurture their instincts by filling a tray or paddling pool with soil and leaving them to ‘grow’ their own little garden. Provide spades, buckets, seeds, plant pots and artificial flowers and their imagination could run riot here; planting seeds and growing flowers for their toys to use as shade could be just the start…

 

Instant Mash

Instant Mash

Yes, you heard me right! This is a really versatile play item. Go for the own brand in Tesco’s or Sainsburys and you can have loads of messy fun for under a £1. Use it straight from the packet as a dry material which children will love scooping, pouring and drawing shapes in. Or add water to make a squidgy lumpy mash potato for children to play with- little fingers will be worked (which all aids writing at a later date) feeling and shaping this rather gross texture!

 

Gellibaff

garden-play

This is a play product available from stores such as Amazon, but can also sometimes be picked up cheaply in places like The Works or Poundland. It comes as a powder and you add water to make a grainy, jelly like texture which children love. You could fill a whole bathtub with it and pop the kids in or just mix up a small amount and give them a bowlful to explore with. You can buy it in lots of different colours, go for blue and add sea creatures to children’s play or mix up some green, add some dinosaurs and you’ve got a swamp! Or you could always just play with real jelly….

 

Whatever you choose to play with at home, or if you’d rather come and let them make the mess at Little Squigglers, then do share your photos with us!