Messy Play Class? We’re much more than that!

Messy Play Class? We’re much more than that!

We sometimes get asked “Is ARTventurers a messy play class?”

The answer is no, ARTventurers is MUCH MORE than a messy play class! YES, we’re all about learning through play and there is some mess involved (ha ha!) but we’re an ART class with the firm focus on art based activities and encouraging our ARTventurers to experiment with different mediums and techniques too!

With our Baby ARTventurers we help them (and their grown ups!) to get involved with paint, to do some early mark making and to create precious first masterpieces. Our older Little ARTventurers are encouraged to further develop their skills and learning through lots of different creative and art based activities….plus in all of our classes we have LOTS of fun singing and dancing and getting stuck in to sensory activities too!

Our award winning classes have scooped a number of major national awards, including being named Best Baby/Toddler Development Activity 2017, Best Preschool Activity 2017 and 2018, Most Loved Baby Activity 2020 and Most Loved Academic/Creative Activity 2019, 2020 and 2021in the What’s On 4 Kids Awards!!!

SO if you’re not already an ARTventurer….visit our Find A Class page to find out how your little artist can join THE most colourful class in town!

10 simple, brilliantly messy and creative play activities to try at home!

10 simple, brilliantly messy and creative play activities to try at home!

It’s a gloomy winter day when the TV is driving you to distraction and the little ones are desperate for something to do…..open your kitchen cupboards and whip up some messy play fun!

Open ended messy and creative play activities can keep children entertained for AGES! Plus all the time they’re playing they’re learning, developing skills, working on language and communication, problem solving…so it’s educational too!

If you’re mess-adverse then there are some “less messy” options in the list below, but it’s also really quite easy to keep mess contained! Try using a long low storage box to keep the play materials contained (like an under bed storage box), pop an old sheet or plastic cloth on the floor and strip the kids down to vests and nappy/pants so they can get well and truly stuck in!

1. Rice Play

This is definitely low mess and so much fun! Coloured with food colouring or just plain, add spoons, pots, pans, colanders….it’s sensory, GREAT for scooping and pouring and measuring and it’s magic stuff that somehow can soothe the most fractious toddler!!

messy play with rice

2. Edible Paints

We love using edible paints in our Baby ARTventurers classes…….SO easy to make! You can try finger painting with things like yoghurt or whip (with some food colour added?), mix up a super simple edible paint with flour and warm water and a bit of colouring OR try one of the cornflour paint recipes like this lovely one from The Imagination Tree!

Set out some large sheets of paper (lining paper is cheap and brilliant for this) and let your little artist get making marks and creating masterpieces!            edible paint

 

3. Jelly on a Plate!

Wibble wobble, wibble wobble……hide some toys in jelly and let them dig them out! OR use jelly granules with a small amount of water to create a paste – you’ve got jelly paint!!

jelly messy play

 

4. Oats or cereal Play

For those who are mess averse – a box or tray of oats or dry cereal can provide a fab dry play material! Add trucks and diggers and it can become a building site……pour water in too and start mixing up some concrete!

messy play with oats

 

5. Gloop!

Is it a solid, is it a liquid??….it’s rare to find a child (or adult!) who isn’t fascinated by gloop! Mix it up with cornflour and water – super simple and FABULOUS for Halloween slime with some colour added!

playing with gloop

 

6. Cloud dough

Super soft, mouldable just like sand (but not as gritty!) and SO easy to make…..just grab some flour and add some veg oil……mix with your fingers to achieve a crumbly mouldable texture….now PLAY!

cloud dough recipe

 

7. Chocolate mud

Just follow the cloud dough instructions above – and chuck in some chocolate powder! Add some plastic pots and a few vegetables and you’ve got your very own veg patch to dig and play with! Kept in a sealed airtight box between play sessions this should keep for quite a while!

messy play ideas

 

8. Spaghetti/pasta play

Brilliant for developing those fine and gross motor skills and pincer grips, playing with spaghetti is always a big hit and it’s so easy to do! Cook until just cooked, drain and stir in some food colour if you want to brighten it up a little…..how much fun?!

messy play with spaghetti

 

9. Flour

Never underestimate the play properties of plain old flour! It’s a snowy scene, it’s a snow storm! It’s great for piling up and knocking down! You can make marks, draw patterns, write your initial….get set GO!

messy play with flour

 

10. Super snow

Ok, so for this one you’re going to be raiding the bathroom cabinet as well as the kitchen cupboard! Cornflour AND shaving foam – mix together and crumble with your hands to create some super snow! This isn’t one for babies who are just going to pile it straight into their mouths but older kids can have hours of fun mixing and playing with this one!

sensory snow play

If you’re trying some messy play at home then we’d LOVE to see the photos – post them our social media with #artventurersfun so we can see what your own ARTventurers have been up to!

 

 

 

 

Making smooth and squishy sensory bags!

Last week we had tons of fun exploring “Rough and Smooth”…painting on rough sandpaper and smooth shiny tinfoil, bumpy porridge paint, textured butterflies and creating our own squishy sensory bags!

The bags were a HUGE hits – lots of “Again again!”s echoing around the room.

We got large ziplock bags and had lots of fun squirting different coloured paints into them as well as adding some foam, bits of tissue paper, sprinkles of glitter…..

sensory bag activity, toddler sensory play
What’s in your bag? Paint and lots of glitter!

toddler painting activity
Squeeze!

Then (and this is the important bit!) – we sealed the bags shut! Then placed them flat on the table and used our hands to squish, squidge, move and smooth the paint and foam around to make some fantastic patterns and different colours. A great exercise in colour mixing and for the older ones we also had a go at tracing letters and shapes with our fingers which was good fun.

sensory bag activity
It feels smooth!

sensory bag activity, toddler art class
Moving the paint around and creating some fab colours and patterns!

 

A lovely tactile, sensory activity – and low mess too!

toddler art class
Look what I made!