messyplayforeveryday

A collection of fun activities for little hands!

“Tie Dyed” Paper

My daughter loves to make holiday cards for her grandparents, so this time I thought we’d change it up a little and tie dyed our paper first.  This can be a very messy project with very little ones, so be careful of the age you try this with.  Here’s what you need:

Foam shaving cream

spoon

cookie sheet

food coloring

construction paper

paper towels

newspaper

Place a thin layer of shaving foam (don’t use the gel kind) in a cookie sheet and spread it around so it’s pretty even.  Have your little one pick the colors they like and drop a few drops of food coloring on top of the shaving foam.  With the handle of the spoon have them gently swirl the food coloring into the shaving foam.  It should look something like this

Now they can place the piece of construction paper on top of the shaving foam and gently press it (you should be able to see the colors coming through the back side of the paper.

Carefully peel it off and lay the paper on the newspaper (food coloring stains so protect the surface you’re working on!).  Now with the paper towel blot off the shaving cream and your left with a swirl of colors on the construction paper.  We then cut ours into egg shapes to get ready for Easter and my daughter wrote her holiday messages on the back.  Looks great and is fun to create different designs!  Have fun!

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Fruit Flowers

Looking for a fun snack idea?  Use cut fruit to create edible flowers!  Cut your children’s favorite variety of fruits into bowls and let them create their own flower to eat.  Simple, fun and healthy!

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Edible Slime

Time to get messy!!  Edible slime is a yummy, sticky, sweet substance your kids will love to play with.  It only takes a few ingredients and a few minutes to create, but will give your kids an hour of entertainment.  All you need are:

14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk

2 Tbl cornstarch

Few drops of food coloring of your choice

In a sauce pan place your sweetened condensed milk and turn it to low.  Once it has been heated through sprinkle the cornstarch on top and carefully mix it in until the mixture has thickened a bit.  Add your food coloring (we made pink) and stir it together.  Pour it into a cookie sheet or pie plate and allow it to cool completely before playing.  For clean up have a warm, soapy bucket of water nearby to dip dirty hands into and the mixture comes right off.  Very cool, enjoy!

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Hand and Foot Print Flowers

Welcome spring!!  This easy activity is really cute and a nice way to look back how little you kids once were.  You’ll need

washable paint

paper

paper plates

paint brushes

a bucket of warm soapy water

paper towels

Pretty simple, paint your little ones hands and help them place them in a circle on the paper.  Have them paint a stem and then paint their feet to press on the paper as the leaves.  To finish it off I like to place a picture of them in the center of the flower and to mark the date to remember later on.  Use the bucket of warm soapy water for clean up and the paper towels to dry so you don’t end up with footprints all over your house!  Don’t forget to save it to look back on in the coming years!

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Potato Prints

A great activity to try at home is potato printing.  Yet another activity where you probably have all the things you need.  Here’s your list

potatoes

washable paint

paper plates

paper

a sharp knife

So first start off by cutting a  potato in half and carving a design into it.  Although it sounds difficult it is really easy and fun to come up with your own designs.  Pat them dry with a paper towel and place the paint colors of your child’s choice on the paper plates.  Alright that’s it, now let your little ones have fun dipping the “stamps” into the paint and stamping it onto their paper.  Cute and simple and you can create so many different things with it, a simple picture, a card, wrapping paper etc.  Use your (and your child’s) creativity.  Enjoy!

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St. Patty’s Day Popcorn

Looking for a yummy St. Patrick’s Day treat?  Try this yummy popcorn.  It’s a cross between a Rice Crispy Treat and microwaved popcorn and can be made any color you want.  Here’s what you need.

1 Popped bag of microwave popcorn

3 cups mini marshmallows

2 Tbl butter

Few drops of green food coloring

Have your kids help measure out the marshmallows and butter and dump them into the top of a double broiler.  (Don’t have one place a metal bowl over an inch of boiling water in a pot.)  Now for the adult part, stir the mixture until it’s all melted together, then mix in the food coloring until it’s the color you want it and pour it over your bowl of popped popcorn.  Let your helpers stir and stir until the popcorn has a nice coating.  You can either form it into balls or eat it as is.  Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

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Shaving Cream

If you have a can of shaving cream in your house, you have a great activity!  My kids love shaving cream and can spend at least an hour playing in it.  All you need is a can of shaving cream ( I prefer the Sensitive Skin variety since it has less of a scent to it) and if your feeling brave a table top, not so brave grab a cookie sheet.  Spray some shaving cream in front of each child and let them explore.  Really fun, really easy and when you wipe it clean with a damp cloth later the surface it was on is nice and clean too!  (If you prefer the kids can wear smocks, if not be prepared to change their clothes!)

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“Crazy Octopus Lunch”

A friend shared this with me a while back and I love it!  My kids have named it, “Crazy Octopus Lunch” and have asked if we can have it for lunch everyday!  As usual, super simple and this time only a little messy!  What you need:

hotdogs

spaghetti

kid friendly knives (either plastic ones or a lettuce knife)

After washing their hands have the kids slice the hotdogs into chunks and break the spaghetti pieces in half.  Now let them stick pieces of the uncooked spaghetti into the bottoms of the hotdogs.  Cook them according to the spaghetti package directions.  Serve with your kids favorite condiments (mine prefer ketchup).  Love it and so do the kids!  Above you’ll see the end product and below the “creations” before we cooked them.  YUM!

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Tissue Paper Art

If you’re like me and save gift boxes and bags you have lots and lots of tissue paper hidden inside of them.  This project is very easy, fun and requires only a few materials.  Here’s what you need:

Various colors and patterns of tissue paper

Construction paper

Glue Sticks

Give each child a piece of construction paper and a glue stick and put the tissue paper where everyone has access to it.  Now let them rip, tear, cut, scrunch, crumble and paste to their hearts content!  This is what I would describe as a “process focused” activity.  All I mean by that is that the end product isn’t really what matters here.  The point of the activity is for the kids to have fun and explore all the different things they can create with the tissue paper.  Super simple and in my case even helps clean up the basement a bit of the tissue paper floating around down there!!  Below you’ll see one of the many works of art my daughter created when we did this.  Enjoy!

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Easy Indoor Nutella Smores

Who said messy play couldn’t be edible?  Cooking is a great way to explore messy play and tasty too!  A quick, yummy, ooey, gooey treat to make with your little ones are these Indoor Nutella Smores.  Here’s what you need:

Graham Crackers

Mini marshmallows

Nutella

Plastic knives

Have the kids break a sheet of graham crackers in half, placing one half on a paper towel and saving the other until we’re ready for it.  Let them spread a nice, thick layer of Nutella on the half on a paper towel and then place some of the marshmallows on top.  Pop them in the microwave for 8-10 seconds (or until the marshmallows double in size) and then place the other half of the cracker on top.  Simple and so yummy!!

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