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 a 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 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 favorite edible messy play ideas for babies; a parent must supervise all 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 found to put onto their highchair tray.
Mix 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 its consistency 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 coloring to the foam and let your baby splash around and wonder at the colorful 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 coloring, 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 real, 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 coloring and let your baby explore with their hands or their feet.
Create a variation of the favorite edible paint using water, sugar, and food coloring. Use this to let your baby ‘paint’ onto bread with their fingers or with a chunky paintbrush. Wonderfully vibrant colors… 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 new activity each time. When using edible paint, change what they are painting ON or WITH, when playing with 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!