Fast, fun and free; Kids messy play

Holidays are fast approaching again here in WA, though I know they’ve already arrived in some states (and the lucky USA has just sent their kids back to school after summer break!).  Here are my fastest, easiest, cheapest and low prep activities for the kids to do when they get bored.  

Coloured water fountains

Materials:

  • Plastic containers
  • Tape or staples
  • Water
  • Food colouring
  • Cups or jugs for pouring water

You can either use recycled ‘junk art’ items like milk cartons or plastic trays, or some plastic storage containers of different sizes.  Get the kids to tape or staple (if they are junk art items) together to create a fountain- big items down the bottom and smaller up the top so the water can flow down it.

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Mix up a few jugs or cups or different coloured water, and then take the fountains to your bath, shower or outside and let the kids pour the water on their creations.  My boys love watching the water mix and creating different colours when they pour them over their fountains.  This always provides hours of fun and play, as long as I keep the water and food colouring supplied, they will play.

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Silly Putty or Oblick 

Materials:

  •  Cornflour
  • Water
  • Food colouring is optional

Mix water and cornflour together at a ratio of 2:1 ie 2 cups of cornflour and 1 cup of water, add some food colouring to the water if you want to.

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The ooblick goes from liquid to solid when you touch it or squeeze it.  This one is super messy so the bathtub or a paddling pool is definitely a great idea!

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Rice sensory tub

Materials:

  • Plastic tub, tray or container
  • Rice
  • Hand sanitiser
  • Food colouring
  • Sheet if playing inside (makes for easier cleanup!)

This seems like something only a toddler would enjoy but I guarantee you my 6 year old loves this just as much as he did when I introduced it all those years ago….

Prep- half fill a zip lock bag with white rice, add a few squirts of instant hand sanitizer and a drop or two of your desired food colouring.  Close the bag and move the rice around until it is all coated.  Tip out into a tray or tub and allow to dry (normally this only takes 15 minutes at the most).  I generally do about 3 or 4 large bags of different colours.

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Take it outside or place on a sheet on the ground, add some toys (trucks, people etc) or just let the kids dig through it.

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So there you have it 3 quick and easy messy play ideas for young kids- which one will you be trying?

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