I’ve had a couple of years of ‘no go’ in terms of craft and messy play activities. We spent so much of our time doing messy play when the boys were small but as they became toddlers, messy activities and organised crafts just became a bit of a nightmare. Nothing held their attention, they cried about everything and anything, they were easily frustrated and they weren’t keen on being messy. I missed it to be honest with you, I used to love doing activities with the boys, thinking up something new and watching them try it out for the first time. Sooooo I am extremely happy that at the ripe old age of four and a half the boys are now at a stage with their emotional development that we can once again embrace all the glitter and paint and slime.
To kick back off the world of discovery through craft I put together a Sharing a Shell themed sensory tray. Below is a list of what used and where I got it from.
- Large black tray. I got this second hand but they are on Amazon for around £12 – £15
- Water beads (Amazon)
- Light coloured fine play sand (Amazon) I then dyed this with food colouring which I got from B&M Bargains
- Slime which was gifted at Christmas from Zimpli Kids
- Ocean themed toys (old)
- Rocks for the rock pool (from the garden)
- Large plastic storage tub for the slime (old)
- Kitchen jugs, cups and bowls (old)
I created an invitation to play sensory tray with different coloured sand, a slimy rock pool with creatures in, frozen pots with sea coloured water beads and sea creature toys trapped inside and a tub full of slime and water beads. All in all I would say I spent around £20 but I now have the tray for future activities as well as half a bag of sand and loads of water beads left over.
When I called the boys into the room they asked what they needed to do and seemed unsure at first. I said “whatever you’d like to do” and within a few minutes they were mixing sand with slime to create a gloop mixture, trying to unfreeze the creatures and making up stories with the animals. They kept all of the messy bits inside the tray or on the party table cloth which I had used to protect the floor, and they played with it none stop for an hour and a half. I call that a success for our first jump back into messy play 🙂 .