It’s amazing how much fun you can have in the kitchen and these awesome messy play recipes for kids are exactly what you need! Create your own homemade paint, sidewalk chalk, play dough and more, with homemade craft recipes to make together.
These thrifty messy play recipes mean no more last-minute trips to the shops when you run out of craft supplies. Keep the kids busy with these fun activities for home, using supplies you likely already have on hand! These play recipes are perfect for creative play for toddlers too!
Messy Play Recipes For Kids
You may be surprised just how much you can make at home. Not only does your kitchen hold the key ingredients to many delicious food recipes… but it also happens to be home to some awesome messy play recipes too.
And the best part of making your own kids’ craft recipes at home is that you know exactly what is going into them.
Many of these play recipes are non-toxic and use natural ingredients that are totally kid-safe!
As a parent, that’s a huge positive compared to the long list of ingredients on those store-brought creative products. We all know how much kids like to taste-test things!
Benefits of Creative Play For Kids
Most young kids adore creative play opportunities. Especially when they include messy play. Messy play is a perfect sensory learning experience for kids of all ages and each has so many benefits for young, developing minds.
Creative play encourages self-expression in children and identifies their uniqueness.
The process of creating helps younger children to further develop fine motor skills, building coordination and strength in their hands. This is a big reason why playing with play dough is a popular early learning play activity.
Manipulating substances such as slime and chalk helps kids to learn about the world around them.
Painting and colour-based activities help with learning and the ability to identify the different colours and how they combine.
And of course – creative play is FUN!
Preparing for Creative Play
Most creative play and sensory play are a little bit messy, so you will want to be prepared for the messy sensory play fun with some simple tools and equipment on hand.
- Storage – If you are making craft recipes such as paint, playdough or slime, you may need a storage container to keep them in to avoid drying out. If kept in suitable airtight containers, your homemade play recipes should last just as long as the version you can buy at the store.
- Suitable play area – For the play recipes intended for outdoor use, make sure you choose an area that you are allowed to decorate. For painting or paper-based messy play, make sure you protect the area with newspaper or a wipe-clean table protector.
- Protective clothing – While many of these play recipes are washable, it is still a good idea to take measures to protect clothing or wear old clothes during play. An art smock is perfect for kids.
Ready to get creative? Check out loads of fun DIY messy sensory play recipes to try:
Messy Play Recipes To Make At Home
Get to the fun stuff with these messy play recipes and sensory play ideas that kids of all ages will love!
With these seriously cool homemade slime recipes, you can learn how to make slime at home easy. With a variety of different slime ingredients and every colour and texture of the rainbow, your kids are going to love the sensory play that comes with slime, gak and floam!
Loads of play dough recipes to make at home - glitter playdough, scented playdough, edible playdough and heaps more fun play recipes to make in your kitchen.
DIY Chalk Paint
Do your kids love to paint? With this DIY chalk paint, they can have loads of fun outside painting the driveway, footpath, fence, even the house. The best part, it only has 2 ingredients.
3 Ingredient Sidewalk Chalk
Making your own Sidewalk Chalk is super easy and inexpensive to make. It is a fun activity to do with your kids. AND you can make any shape you want!
Sidewalk Puffy Paint
This 3 ingredient sidewalk puffy paint is a great way to let your little artists express their creative sides!
Washable Window Paint Recipe
This washable window paint recipe is so easy that it only takes a few minutes to prepare.
Let your kids enjoy messy play with this edible finger paint recipe. Sprinkles optional!
Paper Mache Paste from Flour
You can make your own Papier Mache Paste quickly and easily, all environmentally friendly and inexpensive - using only 2 ingredients.
Homemade Finger Paint
Non-toxic homemade finger paint that is easy to make at home and safe for kids who can't help but taste.
2 Air Dry Clay Recipes
Comparisons of baking soda clay vs glue and cornstarch clay, with tips and tricks on how to make strong and durable air dry clay!
DIY Kinetic Sand
Make DIY Kinetic Sand to play with at home using ingredients you may already have at home!
Fluffy Sidewalk Chalk Paint
This chalk paint it full of texture and is the perfect sensory activity for outdoor play. It is very easy to make and can be used to create outdoor art or writing lessons.
Make your own sidewalk paint and let the kids express their creativity outdoors.
Coffee Ground Fossils
Kids will love creating their own fossils by using old coffee grounds, cold coffee for colour, salt and flour. The coffee grounds make the finished fossils look more realistic as if they are specked with rocks and dirt.
DIY Sidewalk Chalk Popsicles
These washable sidewalk popsicles are a fun way to let kids express their creativity in an easy to hold format.
This 2 ingredient cloud dough is a simple twist on play dough. Your child will love the soft texture of the cloud dough.
While it isn't quite a recipe, these recycled crayons are the perfect way to repurpose broken crayon pieces. Give kids fun shapes to colour with.
Pumpkin Moon Sand
Pumpkin spice scented moon sand for kids to enjoy sensory play.
Kinetic Sand Recipe
You can make your own DIY kinetic sand mixture at home and save money! Kids love this form of sensory play with sand that moves.
Homemade Bouncing Bubbles
This bouncing bubble recipe makes bubbles strong enough that kids can catch them or bounce them up and down on their hand when wearing a winter glove. The bubble solution makes big bubbles that will wow them. This is a perfect for outdoor messy play recipes!
More Awesome Messy Sensory Play Ideas
Short on time but still want some messy fun and sensory play ideas for your kids? These messy play activities don’t require your kitchen at all. They are great for instant messy fun activities for children!
Younger kids especially love playing in the mud and this is one activity that you can set up in no time at all, especially if it has just been raining. This outdoor messy play idea is perfect for spending time in your backyard.
All you need is some mud, water and possibly some utensils. Let your kids go wild making mud pies in the garden and getting messy fingers.
This one is an oldie but a goodie. Shaving cream can provide hours of enjoyment for kids and it’s so easy to set up! Simply get a can of shaving cream and let your kids go wild. They can squirt it, write with it, sculpt with it and more.
If you’re not keen on a big mess of shaving foam, you can have them do their messy sensory play in the bathtub or shower so it is easy to wash away.
Another idea much like shaving cream is using soap foam. The kids will love making soap foam sculptures, shapes and letters. Again, this one is easy to set up and clean up.
This is a really fun and colourful sensory play idea that is easy to set up and can be reused if stored well. Simply dye some rice using food colouring in different colours then leave out to dry before playtime.
Then, put the rice in a tray or container and let your kids scoop, pour and play with it. They might even enjoy sorting it. My eldest loved the rainbow rice more than anything back in our playground days. Best of all, it’s safe to eat!
This is a great option for creating sensory bins for your child or toddlers.
This one is similar to the rainbow rice but a little more messy.
Simply cook some spaghetti as per the packet instructions then add a handful of spaghetti to a ziplock bag. Add a few drops of food colouring and water to each, and roll around until the spaghetti is dyed. Repeat with as many colours as you have.
Afterwards, rinse your spaghetti thoroughly in a colander until the water runs clear. Don’t skip this step or your kids will end up with rainbow hands!
Then the kids can get into their messy fun with this easy messy play recipe idea.
Vegetable Oil or Baby Oil
If you want a really slippery and slimy experience, then get out the vegetable oil or baby oil. Children will love pouring it into their little hands, watching it drip and feeling how slippery it is.
This is a good outdoor messy play activity and one that you will want to ensure they are wearing old clothes for. Add a few balls or objects they can use to play and feel the oily texture as they play.
READ NEXT: FIND MORE SENSORY PLAY IDEAS FOR TODDLERS & KIDS
Messy sensory play is a great way to let kids explore their senses and have some fun. These messy play recipes and activities are easy to set up and clean up and many just require your kitchen and everyday equipment to make. Let your kids go wild with these ideas and see what kinds of creations they can come up with. Who knows, you might even join in the messy play too!
Want more fun ideas for keeping the kids busy?