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Last Updated - January 30, 2024

Messy Play

Babies and toddlers have a natural curiosity to discover using all of their senses and messy play provides an opportunity for them to enjoy exploring objects and materials such as sand, water, paint, playdough and gloop.

Messy play helps to develop imagination and experimentation, allowing your child to develop their curiosity as well as their concentration. Gloop is an interesting messy play activity as it can be both a solid and a liquid, allowing it to be manipulated and run through fingers.

Ideas for managing mess

  • Let them experiment with messy play in the bath so it stays in one space that is easy to rinse clean.
  • Use outdoor space and/or a play trough or paddling pool to contain materials.
  • Have a large table cloth that is a wipe clean material that can be put on the floor to protect the space.
  • Use natural products that are easy to clean up such as water, sand or homemade gloop or playdough.
  • Use aprons or old clothes when embracing messy play.

Making gloop


  • 2 cups of cornflour
  • 1 cup of water
  • Slowly add the water to the cornflour, stirring as you go.
  • You can add food colouring or scents to add a different sensory experience.
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