After spending the last few days decorating our home it was nice to get back outside for some messy play with this jungle inspired set up. For this we decided to make up some taste safe mud using cocoa powder and water to make a nice hippo mud bath. Adding to this some grass and a river (at the request of my eldest) we made up some gloop and then added food colouring.


Cocoa mud bath 

We used about a cup of cocoa and slowly added water and mixed, adding more until we had the consistency we wanted. My eldest enjoyed taking charge of this mixing it and pouring the water in. If you don’t have any cocoa you could use top soil and add water until it is how you want it. Another option could be to use chocolate angel delight or indeed you could use gloop and add either brown food colouring or paint.


To make Gloop all you need is cornflour and water. Pour the cornflour (we used about 2 cups) into a bowl or straight onto a tray and add the water slowly, you want a gloopy consistency where it is still quite stiff to stir. If it is too watery add some more cornflour. Once mixed you can then add the food colouring and mix.

Gloop is an interesting mixture with a unique texture to explore and play with and is a personal favourite of mine although I wasn’t sure how my two would react to it. True to form neither of the were sure of it to start with but soon my eldest started to become intrigued by the fact that it was hard to touch but when running your fingers through it it changes and even better that it turns to liquid when picking it up and letting it run through your fingers.


My eldest was soon fully involved, giving the animals a mud bath, making footprints on the tray and eventually just wanting to cover all of the animals in the chocolatey mud and gloop combination.


My youngest took a little more convincing and went of to find a car to join in. Once he had pushed the car through the mud bath a few times he ventured to using some tongs that I had left to the side and was using them to pick up the gloop to put on the car and then a tiger. This was a great little exercise for his fine motor skills and pincer grip and helped him figure out the mixture without getting his hands dirty. He soon built up his confidence and by the end was happily getting his hands in the mixture as he covered his car!


Gloop is a great activity for exploring different textures and ways to manipulate the mixture it is also relatively easy to clean up since as it dries it becomes powdery and can easily be swept up or simply wiped away and can be washed off children very easily. And as a further activity why not provide some water and a sponge and get your little ones to wash the tray after?

There are LOADS more Messy play and craft ideas over at our blog.

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