Messy play: Dinosaur washing with taste safe mud.
Our 3yo is a huge fan of water play so we’re always on the lookout for new waterplay ideas. The other day whilst playing with his dinosaurs he created his own imaginary dino washing station and I thought, what a great idea! When you create an activity based on their interests you know its going to go down well and this muddy dinosaur activity didn’t disappoint. he spent over an hour playing with this activity and it came with the added bonus of unplanned learning experiences.
We used his bubble bath to create the bubbles as I wasn’t keen on using harsh dishwashing soap.
What i used to make the taste safe mud
Water (we didn’t add this immediately, ill explain why in the next paragraph!)
I’m sad to say i didn’t measure the amounts, i just mixed it up until i was happy with it! However, I think it was roughly 3 cups of flour, 2 tablespoons of cocoa and 1 cup of icing sugar. You don’t actually need to add icing sugar though, it’s great without it. I only added it to create different texture opportunities.
*Messy play – remember to check for any allergies before using any new foods
Learning about textures and changing textures!
When I first gave my 3yo (Ted) The ‘mud’ i had added no water. We talked about how the texture was soft and powdery and that the mud was really light. I then gave him the cup of water and asked him to pour a small amount in. We used our hands to mix the ingredients and observed how the texture of the mud had changed. We repeated this step a few times until the mud had gone from powdery, to crumbly rocks and finally to a watery consistency. It was a great way to teach new adjectives and talk about consistencies whilst having loads of messy fun!
My son was a little nervous about touching the mud at first but once he got involved he didn’t want to stop. He loved rolling his dinos in the mud and creating his own little narratives but the clean up part of this activity was just as fun as the messy part. He really enjoyed dunking his toys in and out of the water to clean them and he claimed he was a park ranger caring for his dinosaurs!
Tip: Remember not to use animals which have holes in them, if you can’t dry them properly it can lead to mould growth just like that which happens with certain bath toys.
Developing stories and narratives
Cause and effect
Developing descriptive vocabulary