Sunday, July 22, 2012

Another Messy Play Date

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Although messy play can be a lot of work and stressful for parents, there are so many benefits for children.  It helps children develop hand eye coordination and fine motor skills.  It allows children to learn through their senses and explore a variety of new and different materials.  It gives children the opportunity to explore and manipulate materials on their own.  It is process driven and gives children the opportunity to use their creativity and imagination.  

We had our 2nd Messy Play Date this week and once again we had so much fun!  Here is what we had out for the kids to explore:

Avery loves water beads so we went all out with them.  I bought a 1 pound bag of clear water beads plus 3 half ounce bags of colored water beads (I got them in purple, green, and blue). I put the clear water beads in the swimming pool the night before and added 5 red Crayloa Color Bath Dropz.  We threw in some varying clear containers (coffee creamer bottle, tennis ball container, clear bowls, and baby food container).  

We loved making mud cupcakes in our mud pit and I had an extra bag of top soil from our first messy play date so I decided to make a mud kitchen.  We had some spoons, measuring cups, measuring spoons, bowls, muffin tin, pie pans, and cake pans.  I also added a container of flowers to use to decorate their creations (picture is from before I put the flowers out).  

Another favorite taken to a larger dough. The kids used ice cream scoops, a muffin pan, ice cream bowls, spoons, and little silicon bowls to play with the cloud dough.

I found a fun recipe for rainbow slime and thought the kids would love it!  It turned out different than I thought it would but it was great.  

I thought our garden sensory tub would go along nicely with the mud kitchen.  

I saw this fun Barnyard Sensory Station and thought it would be a good one for our group.  I bought a 50 pound bag of clean whole corn from Orscheln and added in some of our farm themed toys plus a couple bowls.  

Avery is really into bubbles lately so I thought we could do a couple of different stations that involved bubbles.  The first was a basic bubble blowing station.  We used my mom's tried and true bubble recipe (1 part Joy Dish Soap, 15 parts Distilled Water, .25 parts White Karo Syrup) and then couple bubble wands.

Bubble Painting was the next bubble related station.  We had a bunch of Crayola Outdoor Colored Bubbles that were the focus of this station.  I also added some spray bottles with water and liquid watercolor since the kids loved them so much as our first messy play date.  The canvas was a full size white sheet that I safety pinned over our monkey bars.

This was the bubble mixing station.  I filled one of our water tables with water and added in some baby shampoo.  The kids used a bunch of whisks and an egg beater to make bubbles.  

 Once again we had our kid wash for clean up...

...and a water table.

Since it was so hot out I also added a swimming pool full of sponges as an additional clean up station and as a way to stay cool.  I made a bunch of blue and yellow ice cubes in a variety of shapes and put them in a cooler right next to the pool.  We used the blue ones first and when we were done with those I got out the yellow ones.  The kids loved playing with the ice and they thought it was really cool when the water turned from blue to green when the yellow ice was added.  

We had quite a few more stations this time around than the first but we also had a lot more kids, the first one we had six and this time we had 12 kids.  

I didn't do as good a job taking pictures of the kids exploring as I did last time but it was a lot busier!!  Hopefully you get the basic idea!  The two favorites were by far the water bead and the mud kitchen.  The least favorite was the bubble painting.  The bubbles didn't work to well, they just kind of bounced off the sheet and didn't really pop the way I had hoped.  Overall though, another successful messy play date.  I'm hoping to get one more in before summer is over!

Go here to see where I am linking up!


  1. All of those look so fun!! So glad you shared those idea's looks like a lot of fun at your house!

  2. Thanks, Kelsey! It was a ton of fun!

  3. So much fun!! Love the rainbow slime! Thanks for sharing on Hey Mom, Look What I Did at Adventures In Mommy Land!!

  4. So many fun ideas - brilliant! I've featured them on the Sunday Showcase

  5. Oh my gosh, everything here is so fantastic! I wish we lived near you so we could "crash"! We live in an apartment, so going all out like this just can't really happen. I had never heard of water beads before--I think I just might need to get some.

    Thank you so much for sharing! (I am pinning this on my Toddler board!)

  6. These all look like such cool ideas! I'll definitely be trying some with my little guy.