I had the pleasure of getting together with another crafty blog mom recently- George from Craftulate– for our first ever messy playdate. The moms and the kids in this case were all a little mess-averse so we were nervous but excited for the playdate. The moms each mixed up a batch of messy materials. I tried out some Bubble Dough from Creative Playhouse. George made some awesome slime.
I wanted to to try the Bubble Dough in two different batches, one with colored dish soap for the color and one using Duncan Hines Frosting Creations. Play Create Explore introduced me to this stuff and they have several great recipes that use it. It comes in yummy flavors and bright colors…and it is less messy for me than using food coloring, which always gets all over my fingers!
The batch with the Frosting Creations came out bright orange and smelled amazing. The batch with the colored soap cam out white, which was fine! In terms of texture they came out the same. You can see a close up shot of both in the picture at the top.
The recipe for the Original Bubble Dough called for 1/4 cup of soap to a cup of cornstarch, then she tried it again using a bit of cooking oil which turned it into a gloopy taffy like texture which stays together as a blob. This is what I was going for and while my bubble dough was a really cool texture and pulled a little bit like hers, it never quite reached the gloopy state that you see in Creative Playhouse's awesome pictures. This was fine though. I could have tinkered with it more to get it just right but it was time to play and I wanted the kids to dig in!
Ours was kind of a very soft and smooth, cool feeling version of Play Dough, due to the corn starch. Once you got it all together, it stayed together in a smooth blob but when you squished it it did get on your hands and break apart. (This probably means I needed more of the soap, but another time!) It was interesting to see it go from slightly liquidy to solid and smooth to crumbly! Ladybug is 3 and George's son F is 2. Both kids are a little iffey with getting messy…as are their moms!
Hmm…Not Too Sure About This…
The kids played a little with the bubble dough as a squishy material but then it became obvious that they didn't like squishing it because it got on their hands. So they both decided to mix the batches, like cooking ingredients. Knowing we were all a little averse to mess, I had the water table set up…this way we had a back up play space in case either kid did not like the materials but it turned into a great place to wash hands and mix the Bubble Dough with water!
Time for Slime!
I would say the slime was a big hit with Ladybug. She called it Magic Strings and looooved stretching it! I loved the way it felt too and I loved that even though it was squishy and gloopy, it was not messy, as it stayed all together in one blob unless you did something to it to purposely pull it apart. Please do head over to Craftulate to see more about the slime- but just a warning you might get lost in her site, it's awesome! We will play with the slime again for sure! And I'll try the Bubble Dough again and get it right!
Little Big Man was napping for the majority of the outside play but he did get to play with the materials once they were packed up in zip-top bags. He loved squishing them but it was hard to keep him from teething on it. He liked pressing on them with his fingers. I need to do more sensory activities with him…I have started a Pinterest Board for inspiration but this was a good first step!
Lessons For the Non-Messy
All in all I think this was a great first step into messy play and we learned a lot! If you or your kids are not too keen on messy play, here are a few things that worked for us:
-Play outside, hands down that made this less stressful!
-Have a backup plan in case it all goes south or the kids can only take a few minutes of the mess
-Have paper towels, a hose or wipes handy for fast cleanup.