Interactive messy play ideas to do with your toddler

Messy play is a great way to help your child enhance their sensory and cognitive development in a fun and hands-on way.

Not only will your child love the freedom of exploring new objects and textures while making a mess, but you’ll be helping them develop their motor skills and use their creativity.

If you're looking for easy ideas on how to engage in messy play at home with your toddler, check out our suggestions below. 

Finger painting 

Set up a large piece of paper or cardboard in an area away from anything you don’t want to get paint on. Lay old newspaper down on the floor for added protection in case of any paint accidents, and put old clothes or an apron on your toddler. Set up a selection of non-toxic paints in a variety of colours and let your tot’s imagination go wild as they create their own masterpiece. 

Cloud dough

Create your own cloud dough by mixing body lotion or hair conditioner and cornflour together. Start with a few pumps of lotion/ conditioner and add a tbsp of cornflour at a time until you form a dough. You can add food colouring to make the dough different colours too. Not only will your child get to build their own creations with the dough, but they can help make it too!

Sensory bins

Fill containers like lunchboxes, plastic storage boxes or mixing bowls with a selection of materials such as small toy figures, shredded paper, water, or uncooked pasta, rice and lentils. Allow your child to mix and play with all of the objects with their hands or spoons. 

Shaving cream art

Spray shaving cream onto a tray or lay cling film down on a table and add the foam. Create little blobs of the shaving cream around the tray or table and add food colouring to each one. Let your child play with the foam and mix the colours to their heart’s content.

Ice painting 

Fill an ice tray with different coloured water by adding a drop of food colouring. After it freezes, give your toddler the ice to play with on paper and as it melts, they can form different patterns.

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