25th August 2014 Helen 8Comment

Sweet Jesus my life is one messy play day after another.  Spidey is infatuated with his big-boy scissors so I sweep up about 1 metric tonne of paper scraps from the floor every day. Yoda passes countless hours scattering ‘napping’ dolls covered head to toe in tea-towels so downstairs looks like the scene of a gruesome mob murder.  There’s the lego, the action figures, the wooden train track, the hotwheels, the ponies, the Twistables and the bloody play dough. It’s messy. I’m messy. The kids are messy.  Play is messy. So, it really is a great reflection of how much I like April over at Mama Courage, that I am participating in her August blog link – the messy play project.  She’s great and I’m a sucker for a bit of fun so here’s what we did ….

The kids had seen some cool painted stones and garden things in the Welsh Botanic Gardens (well worth a visit, by the way) on our holidays.  They’d brought the mandatory bucket of stones, shells and other crud back from their holidays (spot who was on the ferry, not Ryanair) and I’d since been avoiding unleashing their creative energies on their treasured haul.  Those two are nothing if not insistent (read naggy) and they pulled at a few heart-strings by wanting to make a pressie for their Granny who had them over for their first slumber party, so the universe conspired and an afternoon of messy play was on the menu.

The original plan was to use my stack of nearly redundant nail varnishes, but as I didn’t fancy actually bathing them in nail varnish remover, I made alternative arrangements and rooted out the acrylic paints left over from last winter’s salt dough decorations.  It was a wet day so my original play to let them go mad in the garden was shelved in favour of the table. In theory this made for less-messy play.  In reality there were handprints on the wall and the floor was pink so I’m happy we ticked the boxes!

On the old acrylic paints, they are great and durable but a bit harder work than your standard poster paints.  I covered the table with a few generous layers of newspaper and stuck the kids in old t-shirts as it does wreck clothes (lesson learnt at Christmas).  I had a stack of Euroshop paint brushes later which wash clean after.  In evitably the paint gets everywhere though and it isn;t that easy to wipe clean. The secret weapon is toothpaste – which takes smears off everything from your kids, to table tops and high gloss laminate door. Trust me – I tested that theory.

Messy play materials Collage

It was the usual story – a fairly productive start to things that quickly descended to madness. The acrylic paint is fairly sticky so I made sure they were good and smelly and in need of a bath! After the stones were done and they’d used up all the acrylic paints, I stuck them (the stones, not the kids) in a corner to dry and produced stacks of paper and the usual pots of poster paints.  They loved that – though ferrying clean water back and forward from the kitchen while feeding teething Woodie left me a few hands short for pictures.

Messy play mess Collage

In the end they had a nice collection of random rock-things and a lovely pressie for their Granny. They made rainbows, monkeys, ladybirds and other things I’m ashamed not to recognise.  They dotted their little stone things around the garden, where they may last about a week thanks to the pounding rain, but they are pretty proud of them!

Messy Play results Collage

Half a tube of toothpaste and a wheelie bin full of newspaper, order was restored. Sadly, they were asking to go stone collecting again at the weekend so I fear they may have enjoyed this one. Thanks April!

Now, for some silghtly more messy adventures, hop over to April’s lovely blog and see what everyone else has been up to.

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8 thoughts on “Rainbows and monkeys and very messy play – a blog linky with Mama Courage

  1. Looks great. We passed a happy hour or two this Summer doing similar. I brought them to the each to collect a “few” stones for the activity and could hardly walk back to the car with the weight of the “bags full” of stones that each collected!!!

    We added a varnish to protect from the rain… still holding up so far!
    Naomi Lavelle recently posted…Silent snaps – making lavender wandsMy Profile

    1. I think that was a big attraction Naomi! For once their haul wasn’t ‘accidentally’ left behind and they got to bring them home, wash them and cover them with paint! The varnish is a great idea. Needless to say I think I’ll apply that sticky layer myself!

    1. Thanks Eims! The wee chancers had her all misty eyed on presentation of their wonderous masterpieces! Nearly as misty eyed as me when I was smearing toothpaste all around the house!!! Xxx

    1. The toothpaste trick is inspired Emily!! I found out about it when one child took a permanent marker to a cupboard door. It’s miraculous powers of mini scouring worked the trick!

  2. Looks fab!Im bookmarking all these messy plays for when Mini has learned to sit still for longer than five seconds-am hoping pre school will help with this-and for when Mini-Mini is a bit older.
    Aedín recently posted…1st versus 2ndMy Profile

  3. Oh I’m delighed at the beautiful fruits of their labour during messy play! You could start a production line veiled as “daily creative time”. I’ve never heard of toothpaste being a good stain remover, thank you so passing on the wisdom.

    Thanks so much for taking part in the linky, will get sharing! Apologies for the delay x
    April Bracken recently posted…What’s In Our Mic-Mic Basket?My Profile

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