If the thought of messy sensory activities makes you shudder – you may find hope for trying out this type of fun with the following tips written by a mom of two busy and MESSY little ones. Also included are three easy clean-up and easy set up sensory activities for toddlers. Read on and get ready to get (less) messy.
Tips for keeping sensory play contained and clean up
By Cerys Parker
- Get out only a limited amount of supplies at a time – if you limit yourself to one or two messy items it’s less likely to become overwhelming at clean up time. When you know you need low mess ideas, you might try some of these independent play ideas for toddlers that involve less to clean up.
- The large shallow under-the-bed storage bins work well as a container for holding in sensory play – you can try putting a smaller container within the larger one to keep the mess at bay.
- Always set up messy sensory play where it is easy to vaccum, mop or wash down.
- Using the kitchen, bathroom or garden is perfect as clean up can be done quickly afterwards – a kitchen sink will fit a young toddler in to be washed down – the shower and bath is perfect and there is no better way to clean up in the garden than with a paddling pool or hose fight which even the youngest toddlers love
- Use a messy mat – or vinyl table cloth, or vinyl shower curtain underneath the tray or bin, that way the majority of the mess will be contained within this area – then you can swoop up corners of the mat to dump out the rest of the mess at clean up time.
- Strip down to nappies or underpants for toddlers and older children – cloud dough is very difficult to get out of clothes once it becomes embedded, as is homemade puffy paint.
- As we were finishing writing this post, Not Just Cute published this wonderful, in depth article with further information and ideas for fearless mess making – check it out to learn more ways to enjoy messy play with less stress!
- Finger painting in the bath is an easy way to contain the mess and clean up quickly afterwards.
- If you have a plastic highchair tray a toddler can decorate their tray with washable markers which can then be easily wiped away – they may even enjoy the wiping up as a whole new activity.
- Put out muffin tins, spoons and plastic containers along with a bit of warm water set out on a large towel in the kitchen giving a nice absorbent place for water play. Here is one way we have frequently set up water play, allowing for the exploration of colors too.
For more Toddler Sensory Activities try out:
- Edible Toddler Sensory Activities
- Water Play to Try With Your Toddler Right Now
- Sensory Play With Doughs
Cerys is from the United Kingdom and writes at Rainy Day Mum, where she has lots of messy and sensory play activites for babies and toddlers.