Tag Archives: Messy Play

Painting in the garden

Following on from Thursday when we painted handprint caterpillars at Twins Club, today we got the paints out at home to create some more animals, flowers and general art work.

I wanted each of the kids to have their own art space so I got the easel out for Thomas and Jasmine, and used the tuff spot for Ben. This was important because I wanted to see what the big two would do and they were keen to actually paint something, whereas Ben is still in the “paint everything one colour then smear round with hands” stage, and he usually does this all over their work.

I set out the paints and a selection of brushes, sponges and old toothbrushes to paint with. The kids loved the idea of painting with toothbrushes and a lot of the first paintings were done using these. Ben had a wonderful time with the orange and black paint and some toothbrushes! Thomas painted a sunflower growing in a garden and Jasmine painted some flowers and a person.Painting 1aOnce they had all filled one piece of paper I mentioned painting with their hands. Ben got stuck right in and was soon covered in black paint! He did lots of handprints in different colours. Thomas added a handprint spider to his sunflower painting and then painted more bugs on a new sheet. I showed him how to paint a handprint butterfly and he also did some worms and another spider. Jasmine created lots of multicoloured hand-angels and she did her own butterfly, which I was very impressed with as she did it with no help from me.Painting 2When they started painting with their hands I had filled the sandpit lid with water so the could rinse the paint off when they wanted to use different colours. Both boys, but especially Ben, had just as much fun washing their hands as they did painting!

Finally, for their last painting of the day I added shaving foam as an option. I gave them all a tupperware container with some in and showed them how to mix some paint into it. None of the kids have ever been keen on using shaving foam in their messy play so I was interested to see how they would work with it. Having already had paint on their hands I was hoping this would encourage them to get the foam on their hands as well.

They all started off using the brushes and sponges to paint it on to the paper but Ben soon got his hands involved and was happily hand printing with the foamy painty mixture. This encouraged Thomas and he joined in, creating some wonderful “fireworks” on his paper.Painting 3Then, just as I was getting the boys clean and starting to tidy bits away, I turned round and Jasmine had covered her hands in the shaving foamy paint as well! This is a big thing for Jasmine and she always takes a long time to come round to getting her hands really messy (which is strange because she is quite happy to play in mud all day!)Painting 4All in all, we had a very successful painting session today. Now, I just need to find somewhere to display all the pictures!
Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

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Keeping busy in the garden

We have spent the majority of the last couple of days in the garden. The kids love being outside and can happily play out from breakfast to dinner. As long as they have the sand, mud, some bugs and their bikes they are happy!

On Monday I got the tuff spot out for some messy play. We haven’t done any messy play for a while so I knew the kids would enjoy it. I gave them a selection of breakfast cereals and some plastic animals. They have been playing with their animals for a few days now so I thought they’d be a good choice. Of course, inevitably the kids added cars and diggers into the play as well! Cereal playThe kids did also enjoy eating the cereal! I had used granola, corn flakes, oats and Fruit Loops. Thomas loves granola so he was very excited about having that and he ate quite a lot of it! Jasmine chose the oats and although she mostly played, she did eat some. Ben had a bit of everything I think!

Eating cerealThey also invented a treasure hunt game. Jasmine got a yoghurt pot and added some oats and a Fruit Loop. The boys took it in turns to pour out the cereal until they found the Fruit Loop. Once they found it they had won and they were allowed to eat it!Cereal treasure huntWe also did some bird watching on Monday, and whilst we were playing in the garden a robin, a starling, a wood pigeon and some blue tits came to visit us.Birds in the gardenYesterday I went shopping in the morning and the kids stayed at home with Gordon. When I got back they were already playing in the sand and were very happy to tell me they had found a woodlouse spider! I was also told I didn’t need to worry because it was in a bowl and they’d given it some sand and grass!Woodlouse spiderThe rest of the day was spent in the sand and mud; boys in the sand and Jasmine in the mud. I also harvested our first few peas and we enjoyed eating them as an afternoon snack.Playing and peas

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

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Let Them Play

While Gordon and I have been busy redecorating Ben’s bedroom, the kids have been happily playing in the garden.

Yesterday morning while the last bits of plastering were being done I tried again with the paint-bombing. I got some great ideas from people leaving comments on here and on Facebook and I decided to try dropping them from the climbing frame. I also found a sports cap bottle that made filling the balloons much easier too, as the end of the balloon fitted nicely over the spout.Paint Bombs part 2We got better results doing it this way that we got on Saturday, but the kids aim still meant that a good few paint-bombs burst on the grass! Thomas was definitely the most accurate and the most successful and he burst most of the balloons himself in the end. I love the final art work we created and in fact I have used some of it in Ben’s new bedroom!

After paint-bombing I had a tray full of black paint that had leaked out when I was filling the balloons. Rather than waste it (or spend a long time trying to get it back in the paint bottle) I decided to use it for some feet painting down the garden. I unrolled some more lining paper as a “road” and the kids stepped into the tray of paint and onto the road! I had also placed a bowl of water at the other end so when they had enough they could wash their feet.

When I initially mentioned painting with feet to Thomas he wasn’t sure at all. But he changed his mind as soon as he saw the piece of paper and the water at the end and was first in! Jasmine, who I did think might not join in at all, was straight in after Thomas, closely followed by Ben. They loved it, slipping round the paint tray and running round the paper leaving paint-y footprints. Of course, the paint being slippery meant that the boys fell in and didn’t just end up with paint-y feet!Paint RoadPoor Thomas did end up taking one tumble to many though and the activity ended with him in tears. Hopefully it hasn’t put him off and next time I will put the paint straight on the paper rather than inside a slippery plastic tray!

Today we spent the morning in the park with some local twin families. I love meeting up with other twin mums and I had a lovely chat while the kids played.

This afternoon they went in the garden again.

Jasmine began by finding a spider and insisted on catching it in a jar! Her bug obsession is getting bigger and bigger! I should be happy because it means she can now remove any spiders from near me when Gordon isn’t around, but when she comes and shows me a large spider I am not so keen!

I got the water table out for them this afternoon. I also filled up the top of the sandpit with water, coloured some water blue and put this in a bowl and put another large bowl of shaving foam out and told them they could use it as soap to wash their toys. They’ve never been keen on using shaving foam as a messy play material, so I thought that using it with water in this way would encourage them to play with it, knowing they could wash it off with more water at any time.

They spent all afternoon playing with the water; washing toys and rinsing them with their watering cans, making whirlpools, visiting the deep blue sea and lots of other things as well. They had a great time, were occupied for ages and were thoroughly soaked by dinner time!Water playWe’ve had a great couple of days in the garden and it looks like the sun is going to stick around for another day or so, so I imagine we’ll be out there again over the next few days.

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

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Unsuccessful Paint Bombing and Bubble Painting

For a few weeks now I have had an idea that I was desperate to try out. It started after we did paintballing with the play balls and water beads, when the kids were bouncing the water beads around the Tuff Spot in the paint. I wanted to try paint-bombing, using water bombs filled with paint!

Trying to find water bombs proved tricky though. I was sure they’d have some in the local shop or in a pound shop but was totally unsuccessful in finding any. Maybe its the wrong season? Well, I finally found some a couple of days ago in our local shop (knew they’d have them eventually!) on the pocket money plastic toy display; £1.49 for 300 water bombs with a filling nozzle. Perfect!

Today was the day we tried paint-bombing. Unfortunately it wasn’t entirely successful!

First we had the problem of filling the balloons. I had assumed I could just squeeze the paint in to the balloon using the filler nozzle. This was mistake #1. The paint was too thick and wouldn’t run down the nozzle into the balloon. I tried everything I could think of to get it in but nothing worked.

So plan b was to mix paint with water to make it thinner. This did help and we managed to get some balloons to fill. It was messy though as the more we tried the less the foam washer worked and the more paint just leaked out of the bottle we were using! Eventually though we got some filled so we let the kids have a go at throwing them at the wall (we had already taped paper up).Get Ready to Paint-BombSo, Ready.. Aim.. Throw…

and they just bounced off the wall! They had another go. Another bounce off the wall but this time they burst when they hit the ground, splatting pink paint all over the grass! Not quite what I had imagined, but the kids were amused!Pink GrassGordon had a go with the one remaining balloon. On the first throw, like the kids, it simply bounced off the wall. The balloon was slightly damaged though so we thought it might burst on the second throw. It did, but not quite as we were expecting. It seemed to burst mid-air, just before hitting the wall and it burst in style! It covered everything; wall, flowers, Thomas’ bike. Still, the result on the paper was really good!

A little later we had one more go and this time we filled the balloons fuller to see if this made a difference. It didn’t and the kids balloons burst on the ground again (our garden really is a lovely shade of pink tonight!) and I couldn’t get mine to burst at all. Gordon took over again and after several throws the final balloon burst on the wall in spectacular style!Paint Bomb PicturesSo, paint-bombing needs a rethink. I have thought about trying to just drop them onto the Tuff Spot maybe and seeing if this works. What do you think? Does anyone have an idea I can try? I have about 280 water bombs left to use!

After our, not quite as expected, paint-bombing I thought I’d try something that I have seen works and we did bubble painting. This is simply adding food colouring to bubble mixture and blowing bubbles so they pop on paper. The kids had a few attempts each and I can confirm it does work.Bubble PaintingReally though, the kids just wanted to blow bubbles. My kids do love bubbles! Blowing Bubbles

Edspire  Messy Play

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Spring Cleaning the Playhouse

So today we finally got round to cleaning the playhouse. I don’t think I need to write much else.. here are the photos!Cleaning the Playhouse 1

Cleaning the Playhouse 2Don’t forget the inside!

Cleaning the Playhouse 3They really did do a good job!

A job well done

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Making Mud Pie

I really wish the weather would make its mind up. Friday was wet, windy and very cold. Yesterday was warm-ish when the sun came out, but a little chilly when it hid behind the rather large clouds. Today has been gloriously hot and sunny with hardly a cloud in the sky!Blue skyToday has been a garden day. We went out before Gordon left for work this morning and finished the kids digging/mud kitchen area. I am really pleased with how it has turned out and it has made the end of the garden look much tidier, which is strange as all we have done is create a patch of mud and put a couple of paving slabs down!

As soon as it was finished and I got the “kitchen” out, the kids were keen to get started. We had to hunt down the pans and spoons but they were found in the sandpit – of course! I got the Yeominis tools out and filled a couple of squeezy bottles with water. The kitchen was open for business!

The big 2 started by putting mud in their pan and adding a little water. I suggested they could collect some flowers and add those too, which they did. They took their pans into the playhouse to “set” the pie on the cooker before bringing them outside and transferring it into a bowl.

Ben, on the other hand, put a little bit of mud in his pan and added a lot of water! As he was trying to carry his pan around it was slopping out everywhere, so I did ask him to tip some of the water out and add more mud!Mud PieMud Pie making kept the kids happy and occupied all morning. There was lots of talk of cooking, stirring and mixing. The bottles of water became vinegar and ginger (??), the cooker was used to “cook” and “set” the pies. The boys were covered in mud by the time they’d finished but somehow Jasmine had remained quite clean!

I thought they would go back to the same activity after lunch but actually they didn’t. The mud pies they made in the morning were left out to “dry” and the kids played in the sand pit, on the slide, with bubbles and on their bikes. When I went to tidy up at the end of the day the pies were still there, and still very very wet! I think maybe next time we won’t need to add water at all as the mud is already wet enough!

The other thing I was asked today was if they could wash the playhouse. We do usually give it a quick wash in the spring so I said they could but then time ran away from us and we never got round to it in the end. I think that will be tomorrows job, assuming the weather doesn’t change its mind again and pour with rain – again!

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Flour Fight in the Garden

After we had blown our bubbles to the sky for Matilda Mae this afternoon I got the Tuff Spot out and gave the kids some cornflour and water to play with. It seemed fitting today to do some messy play in the Tuff Spot.

Last time we did cornflour and water I mixed it into gloop for them to play with but this time I simply gave them the ingredients and let them experiment.

Thomas immediately knew what it would make and set about making himself some gloop.  Ben copied his brother and also mixed all his ingredients together, although he told me he was making slime!

At first they didn’t have enough water so the mixture was far too hard for them to do anything with. They asked for more water so I got some and suggested that if they did want to make gloop they might want to add the water a little at a time to get the right consistency. Boys will be boys however and they both poured in all the additional water straight away!

They soon had bowls and a Tuff Spot full of runny gloopy slime!

GloopJasmine wasn’t so sure about the “messy” bit of the play so I gave her a gravel tray to put some cornflour in with no water. She was happy with this and spent time sprinkling the cornflour from a bowl to the tray, writing letters in the flour and burying things under flour in the bowl.

CornflourAs it got close to the time I needed to start tidying everything away for dinner I nipped in to the kitchen to turn the oven on and when I looked back outside the play had moved on.. to all 3 kids having a flour fight!Flour Fight

They looked like they were having so much fun I left them to it for a while longer than I had planned and the last photo you can see is of Thomas getting a face full of flour, including in his eyes.. oops. So play ended quite quickly after that as they all came inside to be cleaned (they were covered from head to foot in flour!) and put into pyjamas for dinner.

Despite the flour in eyes incident the flour fight was a huge success and was messy play at its best.. child initiated and filled with giggles! Watching them have so much fun was the highlight of my week so far!

Edspire  Messy Play

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Playing Here and There

Today we have done a lot of playing.

We started the day in the garden with Rainbow Rice in the Tuff Spot. I gave the kids a selection of diggers, plastic containers, jars, scoops and funnels and they created shakers, drum kits, rain storms and roads. Jasmine, as usual, collected her own pile of toys!

While we were in the garden I released our last Speckled Wood Butterfly. It was a little reluctant to leave so I gently lifted it out of the net to try and encourage it. It sat on my finger for a few minutes before flying off!

This afternoon we went to a local park where I had arranged to meet a couple of other twin mums. I had a lovely chat while the kids climbed and slid and climbed some more.In the park

And finally, the other thing that is worth noting about today is that our pond arrived! Gordon has started digging it into the garden already and will hopefully have it finished by the end of the week.

The pond

I can’t wait to get it filled and start creating our own little pond habitat!

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A Butterfly, Messy Play and Rainbows

We had a lovely surprise waiting for us when we came downstairs this morning. One of our butterflies had emerged! It was already flying around as well, so had obviously come out very early in the morning.

We then had an even bigger surprise when we saw its wings. It wasn’t any of the butterflies we were expecting it to be!

We were expecting to see either a Small or Large White butterfly, as these are what we had a lot of last year after growing broccoli in the garden. However the one that emerged this morning was a Speckled Wood butterfly.

We still have 5 more chrysalises to open, 2 of which we now think are Speckled Wood Butterflies. One seems to be changing colour this evening so hopefully tomorrow we’ll have another new butterfly to release!

After releasing the butterfly, the kids spent the rest of the morning playing in the garden (again!) and then after lunch we went to our Home Education Group, which was at Caterpillar Tales house again this week.

For the group, they had set up 2 Tuff Spots for messy play; one had Strawberry Angel Delight in and the other had water and cornflour. There was also the water table out for play. You can read their blog post about the afternoon here

The kids spent the whole afternoon playing, moving from one messy activity to the next! They did a lot of mixing, pouring, making puddings and cakes, and had a great water fight at the end of the afternoon! They all ended up soaked, and they loved it!

Finally, today was a special day for Jasmine. Today she started at Rainbows!

She loved it and can’t wait to go back next week. Well she actually wants to go back tomorrow, but she will have to wait until next week!

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Paint-balling with water beads (and other balls)

Today we used the last of the water beads from last week. We used them to paint in the Tuff Spot.

I set it up by lining the Tuff Spot with paper and blotting paint of different colours in it. In a large bowl I put the water beads, along with some plastic play balls and a tennis ball. I gave the kids a straw and a wooden stirrer each.

They blew the balls through the straws, pushed with the stirrers, rolled with their hands and bounced the water beads on to the paper.

The kids didn’t spend a long time on the activity because they had also discovered the play sand was dry enough to play with this morning, so sand won over painting! But the time they did spend they did enjoy and we are all agreed that the finished painting looks really good!

Edspire  Messy Play

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