Tag Archives: messy play

Cracking the fear of mess…with very clean shaving foam!


I’ve mentioned before about how it seems that boys, certainly mine, are often more reticent about getting messy than their girl counterparts.  I haven’t had time to research whether this is anything more than anecdotal, but in any case, my little lad just couldn’t resist the temptation (and clean smell!) of shaving foam … eventually!

I started out by spraying the foam into the letters ‘T’, ‘M’, ‘D’ and ‘H’ and we talked about these (a current interest).  I’d also put out some implements for him to use to manipulate the foam, rather than having to use his hands, thanks to Ghostwritermummy and this post.

Toby immediately picked up a paintbrush and wiped out the letters, even daring to poke the brush with his finger to try it out.

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He asked for me to get it off, but I said that I had some on my fingers and I thought it was fine, which satisfied him and he continued.  I made a T in the foam



But he wasn’t yet ready to make marks with his fingers himself.

After a bit more brushing, he got a bit bolder…

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…and then painted mummy…



…and then his knee!



He was then in the tuff spot and discovered how slippy the foam is.  This he found hilarious and particularly enjoyed making marks with his legs and feet while Daddy held him:

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I then took Edspire’s lead (here) and involved him in the tidy up bu giving him a bowl of warm soapy water and a sponge…

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…just as much fun and job done!

I’m feeling positive about our messy play today and am glad we are no longer shaving foam virgins!


Fizzing ice and painting with ice – part 2


I’d seen this idea on ‘Growing a Jeweled Rose’ here, and thought we’d give it a go! Unfortunately, we were low on materials and my bicarb of soda was a bit out of date (this is a bit how it has been recently, need to be more organised!).

The night before, I prepared a mixture of bicarb and water (1 part of each) and poured it into the ice cube tray.  I then dropped some food colouring over the tray to create blobs rather than a mixed colour.  The bicarb makes the water cloudy and, therefore, the ice white so the ‘blobs’ looked quite good.

The next day, we tipped them into the tuff spot.



Toby enjoyed picking them up and then dropping them, liking the sound they made.

We then put them into a bowl and Toby squirted them with vinegar…at which point they erupted and started to fizz!



We listened to the fizz and wrinkled our noses at the strong smell of the vinegar.

Then Toby made a connection back to when we had played with ice before and wanted to pour water over them. So we filled up his spray bottle, poured it out and watched…



Toby talked about the ice melting (yes, he remembered the word!) and that the water had stopped the fizz.

We then tipped the contents of the bowl back into the tuff spot and Toby realised that the powdery residue could be used to make marks.  Just recently, he has been recognising ‘T for Toby’ everywhere in the environmental print and so he requested that I make a T


We then did the same with an ice cube.  He also asked for the letter for ‘Mummy’



I’m loving watching all the theory that I know turn into practice with my own little man.  As a teacher, I have taught about the importance of exploring environmental print with young children and just playing with the things that take their interest, but when you can actually see the cogs turning in your own little one, day to day, it’s nothing short of amazing!

Anyway, we then got the ice paint back out of the freezer (I’m so rubbish at doing freezer cooking…probably a good job as there’s no space for food!).


He blobbed


He dunked them in water


He put them in and out of the tin, matching the colours


More blobbing


Then blobbing and stomping in the blobs!


Creating quite interesting patterns…


And getting really quite messy!

Then it was back to the ice cubes and this time, he wanted to put them all back into the tray – counting as he did!  He has just got one to one correspondence (pointing at each object as it is assigned a number and so realising that objects count as 1 and can only be counted once until a total is reached) but we got a bit stuck at 12!



This really was quite an extended play for Toby, full of fun and learning. I loved it!