Messy Play Day!

We had a messy play day party here at our house this summer. I only wish I had more pictures from the day…I guess my hands were either covered in yuk, or holding the baby (or both) and didn’t have the camera nearby…There were so many FUN moments! 

As an OT, I see SO many benefits of doing messy play with kids. They have NO IDEA they are working on  their creativity and fine motor skills, enhancing the learning process, promoting language, and fostering social development! All they think is “WOW, I have a cool Mom!” 😉

I thought I would put the recipes and tips for a messy playdate all in one place. Here!!
We made Goop, Clean Mud, Driveway paints, Dryer Lint Paper Mache, Moon Dough, & Green Spaghetti. I also had Shaving Cream, Bubbles in a baby pool, and Jello to play with. 
GOOP is the coolest stuff to play with! It’s solid…it’s liquid…it’s messy! Here’s how you make it:
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup water
Food color
Mix cornstarch and water and
color.  (You can make a whole water table
full keeping the ratio of cornstarch to water 2:1). 
Pour into a bin with a lid.  Observe and explore.  There will be no finished product — just
exploration and fun.  It can be reused, just store in an airtight
container….add spatula, slotted spoon, scoops for added fun. 
Tip: cornstarch can be found at Bottom Dollar for 99cents/box!

CLEAN MUD is so fun. The process to make it is easy and cool for the kids, too. Even Baby Girl got into the toilet paper shredding action! Shred 2 rolls toilet paper into
Rubbermaid bin…(it doesn’t have to be shredded real small, I would pull maybe 10 layers away from the roll and then tear into 2-3 square chunks). 
Remove the wrapper from a bar of Ivory
Soap, put in glass dish. microwave for 2 min…it will blow up like a cloud. 
Add  soap and warm water to the toilet paper. Mix to a consistency like mud. You may
have to add more hot water as needed.
We played with this at the toy kitchen set in the driveway (there were no battery operated parts on this kitchen…important when hosing down to clean up)…You could just play with it in the bin, but we added containers from our recycle bin, glitter, and spatulas, and scoops for “cooking fun”.
Tip: Use single ply toilet paper. Double ply will change the consistency and you will need more soap/water. Look for Ivory soap coupons that are out there. I was able to buy the soap for 35cents  for a 3 pack!

DRIVEWAY PAINTS We did this last year too, and my kids LOVE it! They drew all sorts of pictures & words all over our driveway. This is super easy to make. Mix flour and water to a paint-able consistency. Add food coloring. We used paint brushes that we had in the garage. Big Sister loved helping me mix these paints up. 
Tip: If you use too much flour, it will be harder to wash away the paints from your driveway. The rain will eventually take it away, but you may have a little reminder of your fun for a while. This year, my paints were more watered down and they washed away with just a little squirt from the hose.

DRYER LINT PAPER MACHE is the weirdest consistency! Still fun to play with, but…interesting! Here’s what you do:
3 cups of dryer lint
2 cups of Warm Water
2/3 Cup of Flour
Put the dryer lint in a large pot. Slowly add the warm water, so all the lint gets wet. Add the flour slowly and stirring well. Cook this mixture, stirring constantly until it forms peaks and holds together. Pour the mache onto a surface ( I used a large throw-away casserole tin) and let cool. After it cooled, we used it to cover balloons, but there really was so much going on at the party that this station was forgotten about for the “cooler” areas. This might be neat to try covering a balloon like traditional paper mache.
MOON DOUGH…Most of the recipes you find online will use baby oil. I used vegetable oil since I had a ton here. It worked pretty well and I would make it this way again. The ratio is 1 cup of oil to 2 cups of flour. We played with this in a big Rubbermaid bin, adding sand molds and spoons. 
Tip: Store this in a covered container and it will keep. Pull it out when the kids need an activity!

GREEN SPAGHETTI was a HIT with Baby Girl and the other babies! I had been given 4 boxes of spaghetti. To color cooked pasta: Cook it in boiling water, Strain, and run cool water over the noodles to keep it from sticking. Pour the cooked spaghetti in a big bin and add more water so the noodles don’t dry out…eyeball this. You don’t want spaghetti soup! Add food coloring and stir. I used green coloring and then poured the whole thing into a blow up baby pool right before the party. We added little plastic dinosaurs to the whole mix for added fun. 

Tip: Put the baby pool on a tarp for babies who love crawling in and out of baby pools! You will find green spaghetti noodles all over your yard…

SHAVING CREAM was a fan favorite. I had some Moms bring a can with them, but was able to find unscented shaving cream at the Dollar Tree. This was the biggest chunk of money spent on this party…$6 on 6 cans of shaving cream…not too bad! We pulled the plastic Little Tykes picnic table onto the driveway and let the kids spray the shaving cream all over the table to draw, write, mix, etc. Most kids (and the poor nearby tree) ended up with shaving cream ALLLL over them…and had a BLAST! 
Tip: Buy UNSCENTED shaving cream. Or your children will smell like old men 🙂

BUBBLES IN THE BABY POOL is so simple and so much fun! I had a free sample of Dawn dish detergent (maybe a 4 oz bottle?) that I squirted all over the bottom of a baby pool. Add an inch of water from the hose, putting the nozzle at full blast. The bubbles will mound up. You may have to use your hand to get more bubbles.
Tip: Cut a funnel out of the top of a 2 gallon milk jug, keeping the handle on, for extra bubble fun.
JELLO is so easy and fun if you add unexpected items. We had a ton of ABC fridge magnets and added these to green jello before it set. You can find Jello at great prices if you use a generic brand. 
Tip: Jello is a great consistency for sensory play, but ants will love it too! Put the bin on a tarp     for easier clean up. 

The party finished with a great mixture of clean mud, green spaghetti, moon dough, and shaving cream in the play kitchen. What fun and awesome memories!!
~Posted by Colleen

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