If you’re like me, you’re always looking for some fun activities to do with your little ones. I remember thinking how hard it was to come up with play ideas for Starfish when he was 6 months or younger, but luckily Lauren from Teacher Types share some amazing baby play ideas with us here. As Starfish got older, I was then able to come up with some homemade play ideas; and Casey from Little Lifelong Learners shared some amazing Sensory Tubs with us too. I’m so excited to have another amazing guest blogger tonight, Katie from Sensory Sensations (Thanks Katie!!). She has shared some of the most FUN, messy play activities you’ll ever get to do with your baby, so be sure to have a read, share with your mum friends, and tell us below – which one is your bub’s favourite?
My name is Katie and I run ‘Sensory Sensations’, a sensory and messy play business based in Kent which offers classes, parties and events to 0-5 year olds. I’m a former primary school teacher (having recently left after 9 years of teaching to ‘do mess’ full time) and I have two young daughters (Daisy, aged 4, Indie aged 2). I’ve been running ‘Sensory Sensations’ for 2.5 years and have loved every messy minute!
I know as a parent that there is a world of toys out there for babies. Most are plastic, noisy and are limited in their uses. I much prefer wooden toys, however, they all smell the same and all look the same. With sensory and messy play you can open a whole new world of exploration for your child. Babies are learning new things all the time and what better time to really enhance their learning than through their senses? Imagine an activity that can stimulate touch, taste, smell and be engaging to look at – all this with things you’ve probably already got in your cupboards!
Here are some of my favourite edible messy play ideas for babies, all must be supervised by a parent at all times. Ideally your baby needs to be sitting up to enjoy these activities, but if not they could use their feet to explore or some of these activities would be find to put onto their highchair tray.
Mix together flour, cocoa powder and water to create a thick, gloopy ‘mud’, alternatively you could use chocolate angel delight! Let your baby sit in it (if you’re brave enough) and immerse themselves in the mixture, do they like the consistency of it between their toes? Do they lick it off their fingers? Do they rub it into their hair?!
Fill a container with warm, soapy water, add food colouring to the foam and let your baby splash around and wonder at the colourful foam bubbles that are blowing everywhere! When your baby gets older you could try adding different sponges or toy animals to ‘wash’.
Now I know this doesn’t sound too appealing, but it’s the perfect smooth (or lumpy!) consistency for a baby to play with. Add food colouring, leave to cool and let your baby get stuck in! They’ll probably have a mashed potato beard by the end, but lots of fun! An alternative could be mashed bananas.
By mixing cornflour with water you can create a really, rather bizarre consistency that doesn’t know whether it’s a solid or a liquid, but what a lot of fun trying to find out! Add some food colouring and let your baby explore with their hands or their feet.
Create a variation of the favourite edible paint using water, sugar and food colouring. Use this to let your baby ‘paint’ onto bread with their fingers or with a chunky paintbrush. Wonderfully vibrant colours… and tasty too!
Can’t face any mess? Why not try ziploc painting! Put a piece of card into a ziplock bag, add blobs of paint, seal it (very well) with tape, stick onto your baby’s highchair or even a window (if they’re standing) and let them ‘paint’ without any mess! When finished, take out the card, leave to dry and voila! A masterpiece!
There are lots more edible messy play ideas for babies out there, see what your little one likes and you can always tweak it so it’s a fresh activity each time. When using edible paint, change what they are painting ON or WITH, when playing with a water change the containers your baby is using or add sliced lemons and oranges for a lovely scent… finally why not host your own little ‘messy play’ playdate and get your mummy friends and their babies around to get messy? They’ll learn from each other and if you alternate then you’ll all share ideas too!