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Messy Play is a fun and important part of play - babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers are always delighted to get their hands stuck in to some messy play. They get to feel and touch items and substances they wouldn't normally handle. But, it is also useful for the beginnings of mark-making and ideal for observing their world and how different ingredients change when mixed up. Most importantly - it is fun!
Get a large tray such as a baking tray with fairly deep sides to use when doing messy play. Add some ingredients to the tray and encourage the little ones to mix and feel and play with the substances.
- Flour: Place some flour on the tray. Get some small toys to drive through the flour to make tracks. Mix with spoons and sprinkle with glitter to make it sparkly.
- Flour and water: Add some water to make it slushy and really messy! Great fun!
- Oats: Add three spoon and bowls and some washable teddies and act out the tree bears story!
- Shaving foam: A cheap can of shaving foam can be sprayed on the tray and used to make patterns and marks with spoons and tools etc.
- Jelly: Make up some different colours and cut them up with blunt knives, mix them and squelch them together.
- Pasta: Different shaped pasta and rice can be mixed, sorted and sprinkled. Let the children use their imagination. Make necklace by threading onto string if you have time.
- Cornflour: Mix cornflour and water to make a heavenly gloopy, sticky messy substance to play with.
- Sand: Make a beach, add water in a bowl for sea and mix it all together. Make letter shapes and patterns in the sand or drive through some favourite toys or cars.
- Water play: Put some water in a sink or old baby bath and use it to play! Fill containers, make showers, sprinkle with glitter, use spoons and ladles and have fun! Add ducks or some dolls to wash.
Remember to protect clothing, floor, tables and keep any valuables away from the mess. Have fun!