Tag Archives: flour

Messy Play with Flour and Cornflour

I was so pleased when I saw that Jennie had relaunched her Messy Play for Matilda Mae linky last week.  I needed the motivation to get the Tuff Spots out again and let the children play with the flour which they had been saving since we played the flour cake game at Halloween.  We invited our friends from 3 Kids and a Gluestick round and had a wonderful time.  This was over a week ago, and we missed the linky, so I am determined to get this post written up now before the next one closes.

messy flour 1

We started off by playing the flour cake game again, and once we had finished, the children added some vehicles and farm animals and played happily with the flour all afternoon.

messy flour 2

Owl and Rabbit chose to play with cornflour in the other Tuff Spot.  They had a bowl each and mixed it with water before adding green food colouring.  Then Rabbit added vanilla essence to hers and Owl chose lemon flavouring for his.  I accidentally overdid it on the lemon, but the smell was delicious.

messy flour 3

I think they decided it was a wizard’s potion which probably explains Owl’s choice of hat!

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It was a very successful afternoon, though once the children started walking in the flour we thought we’d better bring it to a close.  That sort of thing works well in the garden in the summer, but it’s a bit harder to manage in a small area indoors with seven children.

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The perfect way to finish was of course to turn one of the Tuff Spots into a car wash.  The children did have a lot of fun with this.  Owl made some holes in the bottom of a milk carton and used it to sprinkle water on the vehicles.  We used sponges to clean the cars and then lined them up to dry on trays covered with tea towels.

We never get bored of playing with flour and cornflour and it was the best way to get our messy play going again – we are back in business!

Messy Play: Oat Cuisine

Apologies for the terrible pun but we play with oats so much that it is getting hard to think of a different title for each post.   For our latest messy play session, I started off with the idea of creating a messy kitchen.  I wanted to keep it fairly simple but as always the children had other ideas!

oat cuisine 1

oat cuisine 2

I gave them some measuring jugs, spoons, scoops and funnels and Rabbit added a cake tin and cases and a lot of cardboard tubes. She started off by making cakes, which included pouring the oats down a tube.  Tiddler had fun experimenting with the funnels and discovered it was much easier to get the oats to go through the big one.

oat cuisine 3

Monkey took the play in a totally different direction when he added two Lego Minifigures, the Dark Knight and the Conquistador, who had a battle over some gold in the oats.  After that he played with the last spare pack of rolling icing left over from the Birthday season, and of course he needed some flour to go with it.

oat cuisine 4

While Monkey rolled and cut out lots of different shapes, Rabbit and Tiddler made some circles to put on their cakes.

oat cuisine 5

Rabbit and Tiddler decorated their cakes with foam hearts and candles.

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Owl experimented with the flour and discovered that if you pack it tightly enough into a plastic cup you can hold it upside down for ages.  I’m glad it worked!   And then he made castles with the flour.  Rabbit made a hedgehog using yellow icing and straws, and Monkey went back to playing with the minifigures.  The Conquistador defeated the Dark Knight convincingly by knocking him into a yoghurt pot and covering him with oats!

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Then a lot of things happened at once.  Rabbit poured some oats through a funnel and down a tube, somebody (Owl?) made a Hello Kitty bow out of icing and Tiddler made a – thing – out of icing and flour.  And Owl and Monkey played together with the oats and the Lego minifigures.  There was some complex engineering going on with straws and wool but I’m not sure exactly what they did!

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The thing acquired a flag, and Monkey did some tipping and pouring.

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The Dark Knight emerged from the flour, and suddenly a lot of other minifigures got involved and there was a scene of devastation left at the end.  (Guess who cleared it up?!)

Messy play in the sunshine

On Sunday it was so sunny and warm that we spent the whole afternoon in the garden.  I was probably most excited about being able to hang the washing outside, but the children enjoyed the chance to play with all their garden toys, and to swing, climb and ride their bikes and scooters.  It was also a good opportunity to take our messy play outside, using the Tuff Spot and our empty plastic sand pit.

I started by filling the sand pit with the leftover rice and split peas which I had been saving since before we went on holiday.  I added playmobil people and some stones and shells which the children had been using to set up a miniature camp.  In the Tuff Spot I placed a tray of flour, also saved from a previous play session, and surrounded it with shaving foam.  The children had fun helping me to spray the foam, and enjoyed watching the shapes it made as it came out.  Rabbit, Monkey and I had a go at writing in the foam, which was fun, but we couldn’t do it for very long because Tiddler was impatient to get stuck in.

Soon the three of them had taken all their clothes off and were in and out of the Tuff Spot and the sand pit, and covered in an interesting mixture of shaving foam and rice.  Owl didn’t want to get right in but enjoyed playing with the rice from the edge and then standing in it.  What he really wanted to do was get into the paddling pool, but the others were so messy that I decided we needed an intermediate stage of washing first.  I got out the three flexible plastic tubs I recently bought for messy play (I wish we had four, but there were only three in the shop at the time) and filled them with warm water.  Tiddler easily got right inside his tub, and Rabbit squeezed into hers.  Not to be outdone, Monkey just about managed to get into his, but it was rather a tight fit.  Owl was quite jealous – I really must find another one – but was pleased to be able to play in the rice quietly without the others, and asked me to help him bury his feet in it.

The children then had fun pretending the three tubs were the carriages of a train, and Owl was the driver.  We soon added our train-shaped paddling pool and filled it up, and they spent the rest of the afternoon splashing in and out of it in the sunshine.  They also enjoyed mixing the rice, split peas, flour and shaving foam into one big sticky mess, though I was glad that they didn’t actually get in it as by this point it was rather late in the day.  It was a really good fun afternoon of play, and we’ll definitely be getting the shaving foam out again, especially now we can do it in the garden.

Playing with flour in the Tuff Spot

In common with quite a few other bloggers, I have been inspired by Jennie at Edspire to buy a Tuff Spot, or cement mixing tray, to add a new dimension to our messy play.  It arrived last weekend, and on Monday the children couldn’t wait to get started.  I asked them what they wanted to play with, and they suggested flour.  I had set aside an hour before bathtime for the activity, but they were so engrossed that I let them carry on for an hour and a half, and it would have kept them busy for much longer if we had had time.

These are some of our ideas for playing with flour.

  • play the flour cake game: make a flour cake (like a sandcastle), place a sweet on top (we used some raisins wrapped in foil instead), take turns to cut a slice off the cake until it collapses, the last person to slice the cake can use their mouth to pick the sweet out of the flour – in our house the last bit is optional and if they don’t want to do it they still get the sweet!
  • set up a village scene with wooden houses, using the flour as snow; drive cars down the road between the houses (Owl and Monkey took turns to do this, and both spent a long time getting the scene just right.)
  • add split peas, and mix to make a cake; Rabbit turned hers out onto a plate and stuck a feather in top; Tiddler found it was easier to turn it over and just use the bowl as a cake, decorating the top with his small Postman Pat van and some more flour!
  • drive cars, trains and Postman Pat’s vans (we have a big one and a small one) through the flour, and sprinkle flour and split peas on top.
  • spread out some of the flour and split pea mixture on a plate, make a hole in to plant a seed (another split pea), then add a feather to be the plant that grows up.
  • write words and draw pictures in it: I wrote some words for Rabbit that I knew she would recognise, and she enjoyed reading them to me.
  • pat down the flour and walk in it to make footprints.

Have a look at these lovely blogs for more Tuff Spot inspiration:

Moon sand dinosaur world

Painting with trains

Oats so simple sensory play