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Best Messy Play Ideas for Babies Under 1 UK

Best Messy Play Ideas for Babies Under 1 UK

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Believe it or not, messy play isn’t just another means of keeping your toddler occupied while you relax for a bit. Yes, it helps in this aspect, but it also contributes to developing your baby’s tactile senses and cognitive functions. Messy play exposed your child to various levels of textures and helps them practise coordination, develop motor skills and boost mental identification of colours and sensory differences.

Plus, it introduces their palettes to different food textures when you use the edible types- this proves quite helpful when the time comes to introduce them to solid foods. Now, getting the floor set for messy play requires you to prepare for a coordinated yet fun experience with your toddler. Make it easier for you to contain, clean up, and keep your child fully engrossed as well, keep the following tips in mind;

Top Messy Play Ideas for Babies Under 1 UK

1. Use Edible Materials

Edible Materials

Use Edible Materials

Babies under 1 automatically shove whatever they touch into their mouths, so to avoid panicking, use stuff you’re comfortable with them eating up.

2. Contain the Play Area

Contain the Play Area

Contain the Play Area

Locate the play area in a place you can easily clean up; kiddie pools, bathtubs, containers or large storage boxes. You can also lay some vinyl clothing material or old bedsheet. If it’s during the summer, make it easier by taking the play outside.

Read More: Best Gift Ideas for Little Girls 2 Years Old

3. Add Toys

Add Toys

Add Toys

Make sure you include toys that are recommended for their ages. This includes plastic shovels, cars, blocks, spoons, lorry, bouncy balls and other items they would love.

4. Colour up!

Colour up!

Colour up!

Add lots of bright colours to the messy play. This can be done through the toys and by mixing the edible materials with food colouring.

5. Be Involved

Be Involved

Be Involved

This is especially when you use materials; you still feel uncomfortable with them gobbling up. Plus, not only will it make sure you supervise the activity, but also mean you can dig your hands in and interact with your toddler during the play. Now that you have these tips in mind, check out our list of messy play ideas we guarantee your baby under 1 will enjoy;

6. Oats

Oats

Oats

The texture is quite close to baby food and is rich in fibre, so your child gets both fun and nutrition when they play with it.

7. Rainbow Pasta

Rainbow Pasta

Rainbow Pasta

Boil some pasta till just cooked, let it cool, separate into batches and add for colouring of different shades. Then, mix up, pour into the play area, and watch your baby giggle with delight as he squishes around.

8. Dried Pasta

Dried Pasta

Dried Pasta

If you prefer a drier messy play environment, fill it with dried Pasta. Be sure to mix up different shapes; risotto, macaroni, etc. and include cups and scoopers, so they can pour around with it.

9. Gloop

Gloop

Gloop

This idea is interesting in so many ways. It can run like a liquid, shape up like a solid, or stretch like slime, so your toddler gets a new feeling with every touch. And all you need to make this is cornflour, water and food colouring!

10. Oobleck

Oobleck

Oobleck

A mixture of cornflour and water, oobleck gives a unique sensation when touched and squeezed. Your baby will be fascinated by how it squeezes and seeps through their fingers.

11. Cooked Baby Rice

Cooked Baby Rice

Cooked Baby Rice

You can have it boiled till just cooked for the extra squishy feeling. The soft texture and separate grains let them squash it in their palms and try to pinch grains off the mash.

12. Raw Rice

Raw Rice

Raw Rice

You can also use raw rice, so they experience the gritty sensation it gives. To make it more fun, mix the rice in batches with different food colourings, before combining in the play area, and get rainbow rice!

13. Marshmallows

Marshmallows

Marshmallows

Because of its chunky nature, your toddler gets to practise pinching and grasping, by tearing them into shreds. Make sure the marshmallows are large, so they don’t choke on it.

14. Rainbow Ice

Rainbow Ice

Rainbow Ice

For this, mix food colouring in water placed in ice trays. When the baby sits in the bath, fill it with water, and pour the ice in. The colourful, transparent cubes will keep him occupied, and the temperature and texture combine to give him a whole new sensation.

15. Rice Krispies

Rice Krispies

Rice Krispies

Same nutritional value as oats but with the added crunchiness, your baby will enjoy crushing and smashing them to bits.

16. Yoghurt

Yoghurt

Yoghurt

Another great option for introducing wet sensations to your toddler. Only use this option if your baby isn’t lactose intolerant. Also, purchase the plain, whole fat yoghurt, as it is thicker, richer and sugar-free.

17. Cornmeal

Cornmeal

Cornmeal

This is one of the most popular and safest ideas for messy toddler play. The texture is gritty and fills the palms, so your baby gets the full sensory experience.

18. Cloud Dough

Cloud Dough

Cloud Dough

You get this by mixing flour with any cooking oil of your choice. Cloud dough holds well when moulded, and will give your baby a lot to do with the toy shovels and shape moulders.

19. Edible Finger Paint

Edible Finger Paint

Edible Finger Paint

An easier way to introduce the wet and colourful play, without worrying about exposing your baby to toxic materials. Have them splat around in it, and draw patterns on the floor yourself, for them to mimic.

20. Bread Crumbs

Bread Crumbs

Bread Crumbs

This idea allows you to create a messy play environment that mimics the same gritty texture like sand. But, unlike sand, you don’t get to panic when they shove it up to their mouths!

21. Pudding

Pudding

Pudding

You can make your special batch a home, or pick some containers from your local store. Not only is the texture great for babies to explore, but the taste is delicious as well!

22. Noodles

Noodles

Noodles

In the absence of Pasta, noodles can be a great option for messy play. You can also have them mixed with food colouring to give them the multicoloured experience.

23. Flour

Flour

Flour

A quick-fix option for messy play, flour introduces them to the drier, powdery sensations. And if you wish to make the messy play wet, just add a bit of water or cooking oil, and watch them make clumps out of it.

24. Jam

Jam

Jam

You can introduce large chunks of jam and watch them break it to bits, or cut them into cubes and let your baby squish them between their fingers. You can also mould it to different shapes for a wider variety of sensations. Or you can just add more water to the jam, to create a pool of drippy jello slime, so they can dip and scoop. 

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