Don't be horrified by the idea of messy play, it gives young children the opportunity to explore materials in a unique way and reaches out to all their senses. Buy a 'messy tray' that you can use for messy play and carry out these fun activities outdoors or on a tiled floor in the kitchen or a conservatory:-
Yellow Brick Road
Buy a cheap roll of wallpaper or lining paper from a DIY store and roll it into a long 'road' in the garden. Roll up trousers and prepare plastic plates of finger plates. Have your little ones step in the paint and then walk down the road creating a footprint collage. Use sticks and other implements to make other marks.
Buy some plastic creepy crawlies and make up a jelly, inserting the creepy crawlies while it is still setting. Give the bowl to your little ones and have them look at the creepy crawlies and dig in with their hands to pull them out. If your little ones won't like creepy crawlies then use other small plastic toys.
Repeat the jelly game but using a packet mousse instead. This time your little ones won't see the toys hidden inside so they must do everything purely by touch. Help them squidge the mousse through their fingers and even let them taste the mousse so that they use all their senses.
On the Pulses
If sloppy is too messy for you, encourage playing with pulses and pasta. Mix together dried beans, lentils, pasta and rice and encourage tactile play. Sort the foods into shapes, types and colours. Make a collage by gluing the dried foods to paper.
Cook up some spaghetti and add a small amount of cooking oil to it to prevent it from sticking. This makes a great treat to play with - try combing the spaghetti like hair, separate strands out, or bend them into pictures.
Every baby deserves a nicely decorated bedroom - here are various options that will let you give your baby a special bedroom to grow up in.
Wallpaper: You can buy some really fun wallpapers for children's bedrooms but beware that a small pattern or dark paper will make a room appear smaller. If you choose wallpaper, make sure you select a paper that can be washed with a damp cloth. The disadvantages of wallpaper are that you can't then add your own paint designs on top, and if you want to redecorate, you can't just paint over to change the look of the room.
Paint: If the walls aren't in great condition, then fill any marks, then line with lining paper. Choose light paints to make the room feel bigger, if there's not a lot of direct light, then look at using high light-reflecting paints to create better light. The great thing about simply painting is that when you want to change the look of the room, you only have to repaint again. You can use various techniques to make the room more interesting:-
- Paint whole walls in different shades to create variations on a single colour
- Paint the lower or upper parts of the wall in complimentary or contrasting colours and cover the join with a border, dado rail or picture rail
- If you are artistic, draw and paint your own giant wall mural
Wallies: Wallies or wall decals are vinyl stickers that you can stick to your wall and create little scenes or other decoration. Wallies are becoming more popular in the UK, but for the widest selection of designs, look at buying online from a supplier in the USA where there is so much more choice! If you hunt around, you'll find wallies for many different popular characters as well as generic themes such as space, dinosaurs, sports, fairies, animals and so on.
Stencils and sponging: If you aren't able to create your own mural, you can always buy stencils or use sponges to create your own effects.
Choose a theme and decorate the room in a common theme throughout. Ideas include jungle, space, under the sea, fantasy fairy land or princess, although with just a little imagination, you'll come up with lots more!