18. Messy Play Inside

Children's Activities - Messy Play InsideMessy play helps children develop their imagination and many kids love to get messy! Shaving foam drawing, gloop and finger painting are great sensory experiences.

Finger painting is a wonderful sensory experience and can provide children with a relaxing emotional release. Children are free to explore and become familiar with the patterns their little fingers and hands can make. Playing music can also enhance the relaxing experience.

Gloop is a fascinating, curious substance that has properties of both a liquid and a solid. Try not to worry about children getting messy! Use old clothes, an apron or an old shirt with sleeves rolled up, this allows your child to explore without worrying about getting mess on their clothes. Have old newspapers & towels nearby to help clean up or to work upon and enjoy the moment.

You can make gloop two ways, cooked or uncooked.

Uncooked: in a bowl mix 1/2 cup of Cornflour and 1/2 cup of Water together until a gloop is formed. This in itself is a wonderful experience as the gloop is both fluid and solid – children can pick it up and when they put it back down and spreads as a fluid would!

For cooked gloops follow the directions as above and then add 1 1/2 cups of boiling water and keep stirring briskly until thick. Keep children at a safe distance while you are working with boiling water. Return to saucepan and cook gently until clear and thick. Add food colouring of your choice. Cool until slightly warm. Put a small amount on a tray.

Finger Paint
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 cups cold water
Food Colouring

In large saucepan mix flour and 1 cup of cold water. Stir until smooth. Add 3 cups of water and cook over medium heat until thickens and bubbles. Reduce heat and simmer for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add food colouring, cover and cool.


Messy play develops fine motor skills and builds scientific concepts (gloop ‘it’s hard, it’s soft’) talking children through this will develop their language skills and creativity. Painting is a relaxing, creative experience and emotional release.

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