No mess sensory play

Exploring the word through play is fantastic for little minds, from babies upwards, but what if your child doesn’t like messy play? I am a big fan of no mess sensory play bags and bottles which allow them to experience sensory and tactile activities without the mess. Even if your child does like messy play maybe you don’t like it in your home, let’s be honest the kids do have a way of getting it EVERYWHERE. Or, maybe your little one has a tendency to put everything in their mouth so paint and shaving foam activities are a bit of a no no. Whatever the reason these play ideas are a life saver.

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I have used zip lock play bags and bottles since the twins were a few months old. Being nine weeks premature they suffered from developmental delays and spent a lot of time in their highchairs or bouncy chairs as they were unable to sit unaided. To keep their developing minds stimulated I started making activity bags for them to enjoy without creating mess for mummy to clean up. We still use these bags no from time to time and my boys range in age from seven to four and a half.

Below are some ideas for no mess messy play bags and bottles.

No mess sensory play bags:

  • Different coloured paints
  • Shaving foam with food colouring
  • Slime with shiny craft stickers
  • Water with food colouring and glitter
  • Different coloured dyed rice
  • Pom pom balls and buttons
  • Baby oil and food colouring
  • Water beads

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Simply place the items into the bag, zip it up and seal all or the edges with tape. I usually just use Sellotape but you could add more colour by using patterned tapes. You can then tape the bag to the highchair or table and even a window to allow light to flood through.

Sensory bottles:

  • Water with food colouring and glitter
  • Different coloured dyed rice
  • Water with water beads
  • Water with pom poms
  • Water with shiny craft stickers
  • Coloured buttons
  • Dyed pasta shapes


With all of these ideas it is important to monitor your child whilst they play as there is obviously always the possibility of the bag tearing giving them access to the liquids and small items inside.

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