Getting messy

Toddlers love messy play – almost as much as parents love cleaning it up. Here are some starter ideas for you, with the best ways we’ve found of keeping it clean. Take a look, and let us know any suggestions you have so we can share with the Bundlee community. 

Edible finger paint

Start them on masterpieces early with this edible paint. It’s got food colouring in it, so we have an old cardboard box flattened in the kitchen to spread on the floor when we are painting. It lives behind the fridge, and we live in hope that one day we can sell it to the Tate as modern art – the stains are something to see!

Ingredients:

4 Tablespoons of corn flour
Cold water
1 Cup of boiling water
Liquid food colouring

In a pan, mix the cornflour with enough cold water to make a paste. Add 1 cup of boiling water and stir so there are no lumps. Put it on the hob and mix as you turn up the heat – when you see clear streaks, turn the heat off and keep stirring. Split between jam jars and add the food colouring – 3 drops of any colour you already have (to make orange, add 1 drop of red and 2 yellow and to make purple, 1 drop of blue and 2 red). The paints can be kept in the fridge for two weeks. 

Edible finger paint

Start them on masterpieces early with this edible paint. It’s got food colouring in it, so we have an old cardboard box flattened in the kitchen to spread on the floor when we are painting. It lives behind the fridge, and we live in hope that one day we can sell it to the Tate as modern art – the stains are something to see!

Ingredients:

4 Tablespoons of corn flour
Cold water
1 Cup of boiling water
Liquid food colouring

In a pan, mix the cornflour with enough cold water to make a paste. Add 1 cup of boiling water and stir so there are no lumps. Put it on the hob and mix as you turn up the heat – when you see clear streaks, turn the heat off and keep stirring. Split between jam jars and add the food colouring – 3 drops of any colour you already have (to make orange, add 1 drop of red and 2 yellow and to make purple, 1 drop of blue and 2 red). The paints can be kept in the fridge for two weeks. 

Cornflour Slime  

This brings back so many memories of science class. Did you ever do the walking on custard game? Well, we’re not asking the little ones to walk on custard just yet – but starting to teach them about liquids and solids is great fun with this cornflour slime. Little ones love to help make it (it’s half the fun) – and discover how the finished slime turns from liquid to solid when you apply pressure (still no clue why). The thing we do know is it’s really easy to clean - just wipe down with water.

Ingredients:

2 cups of cornflour
1 cup of water
Food Colouring
A large container or bowl

Place the cornflour and food colouring into a large container (flat bottomed is best) then add the water slowly, getting your little one to help mix – it takes a while, but eventually you’ll have a smooth, slimy liquid. Enjoy!

Dinosaur jelly   

This one is great for budding palaeontologists – and we like to use it as a way to get extra fruit into our little ones. A bit trickier to clean this one up, but if you keep them in their high chairs (maybe in the kitchen so it’s easier to mop) then you can keep damage to a minimum. Using agar agar means the recipe is vegetarian, but you can replace with gelatine for a wobblier set.

Ingredients:

Fruit (we like raspberries or blackberries for extra colour)
Agar agar (4tbsps. Check the measurements on the pack as this can vary)
Apple juice (500ml)

Add the agar agar and the fruit to the apple juice in a pan, and bring to the boil. The agar agar will dissolve, and the fruit will add a lovely colour. Pour into a large bowl (or two small bowls) and drop in your dinosaurs – these wooden ones are a good size, but there are plenty of rubber options too.

The jelly should set in around half an hour (overnight for gelatine) – then you can serve up and watch baby dig. Hopefully some jelly will end up in their mouth while they’re at it!

Dinosaur jelly   

This one is great for budding palaeontologists – and we like to use it as a way to get extra fruit into our little ones. A bit trickier to clean this one up, but if you keep them in their high chairs (maybe in the kitchen so it’s easier to mop) then you can keep damage to a minimum. Using agar agar means the recipe is vegetarian, but you can replace with gelatine for a wobblier set.

Ingredients:

Fruit (we like raspberries or blackberries for extra colour)
Agar agar (4tbsps. Check the measurements on the pack as this can vary)
Apple juice (500ml)

Add the agar agar and the fruit to the apple juice in a pan, and bring to the boil. The agar agar will dissolve, and the fruit will add a lovely colour. Pour into a large bowl (or two small bowls) and drop in your dinosaurs – these wooden ones are a good size, but there are plenty of rubber options too.

The jelly should set in around half an hour (overnight for gelatine) – then you can serve up and watch baby dig. Hopefully some jelly will end up in their mouth while they’re at it!

Don't forget to share your messy play tips with us (@bundleebaby)