Come on moms, break out and allow your little ones to experience some real messy play. I decided to colour some of my food items red to play on the Valentines theme. Messy play is so important for our little one’s tactile senses and it’s imperative we expose them as early as possible to dry and wet messy play. Messy play allows concepts such as weight, size and texture to be experienced.


Today I decided to do 3 different messy play activities with my baby Jordyn.


We had fun with spaghetti, ice and jelly, however there are so many other items that you can explore with your little one – flour, custard, yoghurt, baked beans, creamed sweet corn are some food items you can try. Messy play can also be played with textured sponges, materials, mats, saw dust, cotton wool, pine cones, water play, cellophane, paper, play dough, bubble wrap, just to mention a few.


What do you need?

1/3 packet spaghetti

A few drops of food colouring


Boil your spaghetti as normal and add a few drops of food colouring to it as it cooks. We used red to keep within our theme for the day.

spaghetti ingredients

Once the spaghetti is cooked drain it and rinse it with cold water to stop it sticking together and so that is is cool enough for your baby to play with.


Let the exploring begin! Allow your little one to play with the spaghetti with their hands and feet. The sensations on each are very different.

spaghetti play

Once Jordyn had completely demolished the spaghetti we moved onto our coloured ice cubes.


Coloured ice

For this activity, all you need is:

Food colouring


Ice trays

The prep for this activity has to be done the night or several hours before you are wanting to play as the ice needs time to freeze.


Pour a few drops of food colouring into some water and pour this into your ice trays. Once this is done place the ice trays in the freezer for a few hours.

ince trays

I placed the ice cubes into a Tupperware first so my baby used it as a shaker. She really enjoyed this party and making as much noise as she possibly could.
We then moved onto the taste testing. This was really well received, even though it was slippery and tricky to get into her mouth. Best to do this activity outside if you can moms, we had ice cubes all over the garden after this!


Finally, we experimented with red jelly.


Red Jelly

What do you need?

1 x Packet of strawberry jelly

Warm water

Cold water

Bowl or tray to set the jelly in


I prepped some strawberry jelly the night before when I was making the ice cubes, so it would set in time for us to have some fun. It is so easy to make the jelly just follow the instructions on the packet.


I gave the bowl of heart shaped jelly to Jordyn and I have to say that I think this was the best part of our messy play day for her. Swishing the jelly around and watching it drop off her highchair was awesome. Her sheer excitement and satisfaction of making the most incredible mess and throwing jelly around was priceless.

playing with jelly

playing with jelly2

Be careful not to overstimulate your little ones. It is a lot to take in and process. Perhaps split the messy play options on different days so that the different sensory concepts, whether liked or not, can be processed slowly. Most importantly have fun and enjoy the quality time with your precious little bundle!!!!! You will probably love it more than they will.


Contributed by Candice Vogel of Clamber Club Sports Lonehill
Cell: 079 185 2657