Messy play is an enjoyable time for the kids. Parents can just DIY a messy play for them and plan out the fun activities indoors or they could easily join a playgroup that is available nearby. It is the time where they can explore and experiment with everyday items to enhance their motor skills and be messy freely without any restrictions from the adults. Photo Credit: timeout.com Messy Play Helps With Kids' Developments Basically, messy play is actually an activity that allows kids to get messy with all sorts of raw items without any control by the adults. It is very famous amongst parents with toddlers nowadays. The intention is to stimulate their senses through touching, smelling, and tasting \u2013 be it with their hands, fingers, or feet. For all the exploration and discoveries, messy play allows your little ones to stay focused and concentrated, while playing with the materials and objects. They will begin to be aware of their body parts and learn how to strengthen the muscles and control the small parts of their bodies, such as fingers through shovelling, digging, crunching, throwing, and other sorts of actions. It is not only helpful in strengthening motor skills, sensory play also plays a big role in enhancing their fine skills, such as hand and eye coordination. In terms of socialising, toddlers will develop a sense of empathy through sharing and playing together. They will also be able to play independently and find a way to amuse themselves when not accompanied by others. DIY Messy Play Ideas For Your Kids Messy plays can be done anytime and anywhere in groups or just with a child. To make it more interesting and meaningful, you can try to DIY these messy play ideas for your kids! #1 Rice plays Image credit: busytoddler.com Rice plays allow kids to develop their motor skills. In a tray full of rice, bury some toys, such as cars, lorries, or animal figurines of various sizes. Provide them with utensils like tongs, ladles, and spoons to encourage them to scoop, dig, pour, and pick up the rice and toys that are buried. To make it more interesting, you may ask your toddler to name every item that they have found. This will improve their language skills and help to enhance their memory skills by remembering the name or type of items. #2 Edible paint Kids below three years old tend to put everything into their mouths before their eyes see them. Hence, it is advisable to let them play with edible paint, instead of regular paint. How to do it? All you need is some white flour, warm water, and food colouring. \tMix one cup of white flour with warm water. It is advisable to use warm water as it will mix well. \tDivide the mixture into a few bowls and start adding the food colouring. Put one colour into one bowl to create variations. You may choose any colours that you wish. However, bright colours will catch your kids' interests. \tFinally, it is time to let your toddlers explore the colours! Let them touch it, smear it all over their bodies, or on the paper and have fun with it. It would definitely help with the sense of touching. #3 Marshmallow playdough Like edible paint, marshmallow playdough is also edible and safe for toddlers under three years old. Not to forget, it smells nice and tastes good, too! Photo Credit: foodnetwork.com Playdough is good in strengthening the hand muscles and finger-controlling through pinching, throwing, pulling, and pressing. Creation of many shapes and textures allow your kids to be creative and it is definitely therapeutic! How to make a marshmallow playdough? The ingredients are quite simple. You need large marshmallows, coconut oil, cornstarch, and food colouring. \tFirst, mix some coconut oil with the marshmallows and heat the mixture in the microwave for 30 seconds. \tAdd some food colouring until it creates the colour you want. \tFinally, add some corn starch and knead it well. You may add more cornstarch if you feel it is too sticky and it is done! #4 Sand using brown sugar Photo Credit: allfoodchef.com Sand play is like having playdoh and rice in one play setting. It is not as sticky as playdough but it is easy to shape, unlike rice. Similar to those two, sand play could also help in developing muscle strengths, as well as enhancing the creativity among kids. By using a food processor, blend well two cups of sugar and two cups of cornstarch until they become \u2018sandy\u2019. Add some drops of water to make them stickier, but do not put too much as it will make them too sticky. Your sand play is now ready! Hmmm, which castle should I build with my kids? #5 Pasta worms Slimy and various shapes of pasta will surely attract toddlers. It easily slips through fingers and wakes up the sense of their fingers. Spaghetti tends to get entangled and your kids will be experimenting with it by trying to untie the knots and learn some basic problem-solving skills along the way. You may add some food colouring to the pasta and let your kids mix them to make a rainbow of colours. To make it more interesting, hide some toys between the pasta and let the hunting begin! #6 Jelly Melly Photo Credit: learning4kids.net It is so great to add jelly to your kids' messy play. It smells good, tastes good, and has a good texture. Furthermore, it is easy to make as there are plenty of premix jelly products available in stores. You might want to let your kids have a taste of the jelly before the play begins. Jelly has a smooth texture that easily slips off hands that will surely make them more eager to squish it. Allow them to use a plastic knife or spoon to cut it into small pieces. You will see how your toddler will enjoy it when the jelly keeps on moving because of its slippery texture. Photo Credit: fun-a-day.com There are actually a lot of other available items in the kitchen that can be used during your kids' messy play. They can have some fun with ice, fruits, gummy bears, flour, and many more. Just spread them out in front of your little ones and let them have a good fun-filled messy playtime! Year-end holidays are great in so many ways, especially when you have fun family activities to fill up your time. For more fun-filled holiday ideas right within your home, visit our Cuti-Cuti Family articles here!