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From ‘Eww!’ To ‘Ooh!’ – 7 Messy Play Recipe Videos

We round up some of our favourite guides to making substances for assembling, squeezing, squishing and smooshing...

  • From ‘Eww!’ To ‘Ooh!’ – 7 Messy Play Recipe Videos

From supervised crafts activities, to mind-bending science demonstrations to ‘yucky and weird’ materials for child-led activities, there’s a messy play recipe for every occasion. Here’s a selection of our favourite ‘how-to’ videos to get you inspired…

Play dough

The jury might be out on whether modelling objects using Play-doh technically counts as messy play – but making the stuff yourself surely does. It’s a little US-centric (like most of the videos here), but this Cool School video could serve as the basis of an enjoyable hands-on activity. And once you’re finished, you’ll have a follow-up activity right there, ready to go…

Papier mâché

It’s a classic messy play staple, but the process of mixing and preparing papier mâché can sometimes be a little time consuming and unpredictable. Here’s quick and cheap recipe courtesy of Storm The Castle that should work every time – though you’ll obviously still have to see to the paper cutting prep ahead of time, and brush up on the old imperial/metric conversion skills when measuring out the quantities…

Fluffy slime

For some semi-solid pliable, kneadable slime, look no further than this easy to follow recipe – which has the added bonus of not requiring shaving cream or sometimes hard to find and pricey borax (though you will need some boric acid-containing contact lens solution). So long as you’re careful to store the end result in a tub or sealed bag, it should offer your children plenty of squeezing, squelching and smooshing fun for a fair old while…

Transparent slime

If you are able to lay your hands on some borax, then you might want to try using it to make this completely transparent malleable slime that outwardly resembles a kind of liquid glass putty…

Frozen water (AKA ‘ice’)

Okay, so this video isn’t a recipe per se, and more a series of instructions on how to delight and bamboozle your children with the properties of near-frozen water – but it can’t be denied that watching a snowman magically appear from a bottle of poured water will make for a memorable Christmas activity…

Amazing magic goo

If there’s one thing that’s bound to elicit looks of wonder from your young learners, it’s the ‘now it’s a solid, now it’s a liquid, now it’s a solid again’  properties of cornflour. Here, Dave Hax shows how to rustle up a simple cornflour-based magic goo…

Glow-in-the-dark ‘magical mud’

On a related note, the starch contained within humble potato contains offers similar potential for goopy fun, and can be made to glow in the dark when combined with quinine. This video shows you how to refine the stuff and combine it with a bottle of shop-bought tonic water, to produce an otherworldly, but entirely safe and an even edible substance that will come into its own when (carefully) used inside a blacklit sensory room…

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