5 ways to introduce your baby to messy play
Messy playtime is not only fun but essential for learning.
Messy baby (Shutterstock)
Torrential rain in the South and freezing temperatures in the North of our country can be major deterrents to spending time outdoors with your little one. Unfortunately with the arrival of winter comes the end of the ‘messy play’ season for our babies.
Geoffrey Holtes, brand manager for baby skincare brand Krayons says that getting dirty is an essential part of a child’s sensory maturation. “Playtime with the added benefit of introducing new textures and materials stimulates the senses and develops tactile awareness.”
Holtes recommends a few messy activities that can be set up indoors during winter or summer:Jelly hunting
Prepare a large bowl of coloured jelly. Before placing the jelly in the fridge to set, pop a few of your child’s favourite waterproof mini-toys into the bowl – they should naturally sink to the bottom. Ensure that they are small enough to not crowd the bowl, but large enough to not present a choking hazard. Items like pieces of Duplo, small plastic animals or small textured balls work well. Once the jelly is set, put your child on a waterproof mat with the bowl and watch him or her explore the squishy depths of the bowl to retrieve the items. He’ll enjoy the hunt as well as the taste!Spaghetti rainbow
Prepare small pots of spaghetti using different food colouring in each pot. Combine the brightly coloured pasta in a bowl and hand to your child to investigate. She’ll enjoy the colourful show as well as the slimy texture. She might even take a nibble.Tapioca tinkling
Tapioca is very versatile and has a fantastic texture for sensory exploration. With smaller amounts of water, the tapioca takes on a ‘rubbery’ feel and can be manipulated into shapes. Add a bit more water and it feels more like jelly. Cooking with oats
Mix a small portion of oats with water for a messy, sticky goo. Place in a large mixing bowl. Once your child is set up on a waterproof mat, hand her the bowl along with a whisk and a few other items to float about in the oats.Sticky jam
Placing a small portion of jam onto a tray and letting your baby get his hands sticky and gooey is the perfect sensory activity. Encourage him to ‘mush’ it around, feel it between his fingers and ‘paint’ with it on the tray.
When the playtime is over, Holtes recommends using a gentle product to cleanse your child’s sensitive skin. The Krayons Creamy Baby Soap Bar is enriched with moisturising aqueous cream and the Krayons Mild Baby Soap Bar is infused with pure baby jelly to give extra care to baby’s skin. Krayons baby soap bars are approved by dermatologists, gentle enough to use from birth and will leave baby's skin soft and smooth. The soft and fresh fragrance will be enjoyed by mom and baby as they spend happy quality time together.For more information on Krayons products visit KrayonsBabies on Facebook.
Do you have messy playtime with your baby?