5 Messy Play Activities to Try in Lockdown

Gloop and ice

With most of us now in lockdown we’ve put together a simple list of 5 messy activities you can do at home. Now it does depend how messy you want to get but these are all activities which can be created with ingredients you already have in your pantry. Easy right?

  1. Playdough – making your own playdough with your little one is fun. It’s a great science experiment too. We already have a dedicated blog on how to create your own playdough, which is all taste safe too. Click here for more information. Now with playdough you can create so many different colours, textures, fragrances and it can even be incorporated into a nature walk collecting flowers, leaves and twigs for your playdough activity. Just look at this amazing set up from Harlies Party.
Beautiful playdough set up from Harlies Party
  1. Rice – This is such a simple activity and you don’t need much prep time depending on whether you want to dye your rice. We’ve created a reel on how to make a simple winter themed play tray just using white rice. Now if you want to dye your rice all you needs is:
    • Rice
    • Food Colouring
    • Zip lock bag
Simple carrot creation

Simply add rice to a zip lock bag and add food colouring. Shake until all your rice is covered in the food colouring. Lay out on a tray to dry and that’s it coloured rice. You combine different colours, make rainbow rice and create any small world setting you like. We’ve simply added wheels, cups and scoops for a great fun activity for your little ones to explore.

3.) Gloop – Gloop (oobleck) is such a fun, messy activity and another it can be set up so quickly. To create your own gloop all you need to do is add water to cornflour and mix. We’ve got a couple of examples here where you can let the children mix their own gloop with lots of bowls, jugs of water or you can create the gloop and let those little ones go crazy. 

There’s lots of ways you can enhance your gloop too by adding food colouring, glitter, cocoa powder (creates a great mud looking gloop), adding flowers, leaves to make your own natural gloop. Why not even go that one step further and freeze some gloop. It’s great to see the colours start to melt and a great talking point for those little minds. Here’s some examples of our very own gloop trays.

Frozen gloop

4.) Water play – Water play is so simple but loved by children. Such a great way for children to learn and can be done indoors but preferably outdoors. We’ve created many water play trays and I think the potion making has to be one of the biggest hits with the children. Here we add food colouring to the water, added cups, old tea pots, scoops and lots of containers. We even added flowers and ice too.

Take a look at some of the trays for some inspiration.

Ice and water play are a great combination

5.) Spaghetti/Noodles – Now this takes a little bit more preparation but such a great messy activity especially for our younger messy play fans. Simply cook a packet or two of spaghetti, add to a ziplock bag, add some water and food colouring and leave to soak. You can do this in a bowl but we find it easier in bags. Once the water has been absorbed, rinse the spaghetti and you’re ready to go. We usually like to add plates, tongs and bowls but you can get as creative as you like or simply have a look at what you have in your cupboards.

If you’re using rice noodles, simply soak this in a bowl of warm water for about five minutes. We usually do this in warm coloured water. Once softened, rinse off the colouring and you’re ready to go. Take a look below at some of our photos for inspiration.

Under the sea inspiration

We hope you enjoy creating any of these activities and remember tag us in your socials so we can see what you’ve been up to.