Messy Sensory Play for Beginners

My three year old goes through phases of being interested in messy sensory play. Sometimes I can set it up and he’ll play for hours, sometimes I’ll set it up and he’ll play for two minutes. Trouble is I never know which it’s going to be and far be it from me to stop him from doing something he might really enjoy just because it might be a two minute day.

However that does mean I am loathe to go to masses of effort to set it all up just in case. It also means I like things that are cheap to make (and if possible things that can be kept to play with another time).

My sister has a daughter who at 2.5 has never really shown much interest in sensory play. However just recently she has become obsessed with all the creams in the house, scooping them, squidging them and generally enjoying making a mess. This got me thinking that maybe it’s time to try her with some sensory activities, that might be cheaper than the body lotions and creams she’s suddenly taken an interest in.

So this is a round up of some really simple and where possible, cheap recipes for the parent’s first foray into messy play. And a couple of words of advice from a mum who found messy play difficult to get in to.

  1. Firstly I would suggest sourcing something to play on/in. We have a Tuff Tray and stand now, but we started with cheap under bed storage boxes and still find these incredibly useful. They are wide enough and shallow enough to provide space to play in, and can be easily moved to where they need to be. In this gorgeous weather, I’d totally be doing this outside, but in the winter an under bed storage box can go in the kitchen. Or wherever.
  2. When we first started messy play I would also put down a plastic dust sheet (we got ours from Homebase, but you can get them at any DIY store). It’s a option, but actually I found most things easy enough to clean off tiles, so I stopped using it. Carpet might be a different matter though!
  3. Sometimes I get Oscar involved in the actual making of whatever we’re doing (he loved making the Moon Sand), other times it’s better if I make it then call him over. You know your child, and your patience, best.
  4. Once they’re playing, be prepared for them to access the activity in surprising ways. Encourage them by all means, but if they run off and grab a train and start painting with that instead of the brushes you lovingly provided, so be it.
  5. But the best advice I think I can give is to be brave. There is little that wont clean up easily and quickly and what’s a bit of clean up to hours of focused play? And a bit of peace and quiet?

Click on the pictures for the recipes.

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We love Moon Sand and while I dyed it blue here, you don’t need to at all. Also I love this because it lasts for ever. Just scoop it into an airtight container when they finished and it’s good for weeks.

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Painting scared the bejaysus out of me, in our tiny house, but this Shaving Foam paint was one of our absolute winners. Oscar adored it and while it did take a bit of mixing the colours, it was totally worth it. He played for HOURS!

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I love this simple recipe from The Imagination Tree and we’re planing to do this one this afternoon. Simple hardly describes it and I think it would speak to my nieces love of creams!

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How gorgeous does this Slime from Powerful Mothering look. Goooooooooo! Chia Seeds are available in every supermarket now and I love how this makes a simple goopy mass. It takes a bit of planning but hardly any work!

clean mud

Another super simple recipe from Growing a Jeweled Rose. I buy my Bicarb in big boxes online now and have a load waiting to be used. I’m planning this for a summer activity and if it’s in the garden it’ll need no cleaning up!

Rainbow Slime (1)

Now I know this one is a bit more complicated (but even the amazing Allison over at Learn Play Imagine says you don’t have to colour it.) but look at it!!!! I want to play with this forget the boy! However, before you start, liquid starch is really difficult to get hold of in the UK. You can, it’s just difficult and can be expensive.

Soooooo I found this amazing post by Fun at Home with Kids on how to make Slime the UK way, using a kind of detergent from Aldi.

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As we have no Aldi near us I cant test this myself yet. However the detergent and white PVA is cheap as chips so as soon as I find some I’ll be testing it out.

I hope you see something in here you think, “yeah I could have a go at that”. Go on be brave.

Let me know how it goes!

xxx

 

 

#ToddlerApprovedTuesday
Advice From The Heart

Being a Blogger is…..

I’ve been tagged, by the beautiful Gym Bunny Mummy (seriously if you haven’t checked out her blog yet do. It’s just so gorgeous! I have serious WordPress theme and photo envy every time I visit her blog!) to complete a post about about what blogging means to me. Its called

Being a Blogger is….

It’s not something I’ve really considered before, but once I started, I knew this was a post I’ve needed to write for a while. So here we go.

Being a Blogger is….baffling. I never intended for anyone to read my ramblings much less follow them and actually be interested in what I have to say. And despite doing this for two years now I still don’t really think of myself as a “blogger”. I’m just that girl who publishes stuff online and hopes people might like it. Maybe I need to start thinking of my blogging status differently. After all thousands of people a month seem to think I’m a blogger (gawd love ’em), so why don’t I?

Being a Blogger is….a massive confidence boost. When I first started writing, my confidence was at an all time low after becoming a new mother, giving up my job and (I felt at the time) my identity. Writing gave me something I could really be proud of and when people started to respond with wonderful and thoughtful comments, particuarly about my weight loss or to tell me something I’d written had made them think or cry, I wont deny it lifted me up and made me happier and more confident than I’d been in a long, long time.

Being a Blogger is….therapy. This is particularly true in terms of my weight loss posts but also with Oscar’s diagnosis of Autism. When I was finally able to get it out on my blog I felt 100% better about the whole process. Took me a while to get there mind you!

Being a Blogger is….creative. I’d kind of given up on being creative. I used to be and always wanted to be, but somehow never really found my outlet in admin! My writing has allowed me to wake up that long dormant creative streak, which I can see developing as my posts progress, but also in the rest of my life, with the things I do and wear and try. It’s my inspiration.

Being a Blogger is….being part of a community. I love my mummy friends to bits, don’t get me wrong, but I have found some amazing souls through being a blogger and my use of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. People who have helped me, supported me, made me feel valued and given me confidence in who I am. And yet I’ve met so few of them in real life. They’re such an eclectic bunch and I’ve ‘met’ people I would never have done otherwise. I’m proud to be getting my name known around the community, because it’s such a valuable thing to be a part of.

Being a Blogger is….my thing. I never really had many interests before I started writing. If people met me for the first time I always talked about what I did for a living. God how boring was I that I had nothing else to define me than my job, which for many years I hated. Now I have something I have created and am immensely proud of to talk about (if people really want to hear about it. I am acutely aware of becoming a blogging bore!)

Being a Blogger is …. space. Space to say and do and be who and what I want. I like to think I’m not controversial as such, but if I need to ask a question, even if I don’t have the answer (particularly if I don’t have the answer) then my blog is my space to do it. Sometimes I even get an answer back. I don’t expect everyone to agree with everything I write, blimey it’d make for a dull world if they did, but it’s my space to write what I want.

Being a Blogger is….. so much fun. From the events I’ve attended, to the holidays I’ve been on, from the conversations I’ve had to the sentences I’ve written that have made me laugh, I’ve had so much fun because of my blog. Bringing up Oscar is my life’s work, but what with one thing and another it’s not always the most fun. I’m so grateful for the fun my blog brings into my life.

But really

Being a Blogger is…. just the beginning ?

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My office

I would like to tag these superb bloggers to tell me what Being a Blogger means to them: