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Messy Play Ideas

Messy Play Ideas

Get Stuck In With These Messy Play Ideas!

From birth, your little one is a natural explorer! Using their senses to make sense of the new world around them. One way you can help grow your little one’s happy and curious mind is through messy play. Messy play helps your little one discover the textures and sensations the world has to offer, helping their brains to establish new synaptic connections.

So, if you’re ready to get your hands dirty, here are five messy play ideas that are guaranteed to get your little one’s senses flowing!

Jelly Adventures

Squishy, squelchy and colourful, jelly makes the perfect prop for messy play! All you need for your jelly adventure is:

  • Jelly
  • Animal Figures
  • A large plastic container.

Start by making your Jelly mixture and pouring it into a large plastic container. Whilst the Jelly is setting, place the animal figures in the mixture. For older children, try adding sea creature figures into blue jelly or farm animals into green jelly to conceptualise the animal world.

Once the jelly has set with the animals placed inside, let the messy play begin!

Jelly Ocean | Sensory play, Kids playing, Sensory

Painting with Toys!

Your little one will love zooming and stomping across the page with their toys as they pass through paint, leaving footprints and tyre tracks behind. All you will need is:

  • Toy vehicles / Animal Figures
  • Large sheet of paper
  • Child friendly paint

To start, place down a large sheet of paper on a washable service. Then add blobs of paint on the paper and encourage your little one to drive their vehicles or stomp their animals across the paper to create their masterpiece. If you’re worried about your little one getting messy, pop on a coverall bib to help protect their clothes.


mama_and_arthur feeding bib


Rice Play

If your looking for something slightly less messy then rice play is perfect! All you’ll need is:

  • Rice (Plain or coloured with food colouring)
  • Cutlery (Pots, pans and spoons)
  • A large tub/matt for your little one to sit on.

Start by placing your rice on a matt or in a tub for your little one to sit in. Add some pots, pans and spoons and watch your little one scoop, pour and measure the rice.

How to Dye Rice for Sensory Bin Play – Play of the Wild

Pasta Play

Pasta play is another easy and relatively tidy (as far as messy play goes) activity. All you’ll need is:

  • Pasta
  • Food colouring
  • A play Matt

To begin pasta play, cook the pasta until just cooked. Once your pasta is cooked, drain the water, and add some food colouring to brighten it up. Place the pasta onto your little one’s play matt and watching them use and develop their fine and gross motor skills.

Rainbow Dyed Noodles

Chocolate Mud

Chocolate and play, what more could your little one want? To make a sensory heaven out of chocolate you’ll need:

  • Flour
  • Veg oil
  • Chocolate powder
  • Plastic pots
  • Vegetables

Start by mixing your flour, veg oil and chocolate powder to make a super soft and mouldable mud. Next add in your pots and vegetables to create you’re very of choc veg patch!


We hope you love our messy play ideas! Don’t forget to tag us in your messy play pictures, we’d love to see!

Love, Team Ziggle  X

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