Our top 3 easy kids craft ideas to keep preschoolers busy. These messy play recipes are made with just 3 pantry ingredients from the supermarket. So roll out a messy mat, and get started!
The slime, snow and water beads recipes below are non toxic, easy and cheap to make at home. Plus early childhood development experts say messy play is proven to help kids development. Watch The Raising Children Network explain the benefits of Messy Play.
SLIME – How to make slime at home with pantry ingredients
This slime is non toxic and easy to wash off. Make clean up easier by getting kids to wear an apron when they play.
Ingredients for non toxic slime
- 1 tablespoon psyllium powder (find it at the health food store)
- 1 cup of water
- 2 drops food colour
How to make slime
Stir the psyllium powder with water and food colouring in a saucepan over low heat. Keep stirring until the mixture starts to bubble. The longer the mixture bubbles, the thicker it gets. Just stir the slime until you are happy with how sticky it is. Take the pan off the heat and let it cool. Once cooled the slime is ready for play.
More tips for making non toxic slime at home
- Stir mixture over heat for longer to get thicker slime
- Add more food colouring for stronger coloured slime
- Make your slime the night before or on the day you want to use. This slime is all natural so it only keeps for a day in the fridge
- Slime washes straight off clothing but using a washable splash mat and getting kids to wear an apron makes things easier
SNOW – how to make play snow at home
Play snow makes a great sensory activity. Use this non toxic easy messy craft recipe to make sensory play snow at home with pantry ingredients
You will need
- 500 grams bi carb soda
- 1/2 cup of water
- 100 grams table salt
How to make Play Snow
Place bi carb soda and table salt into a mixing bowl. Slowly stir water into the mixture until you get the desired texture.
More tips for making play snow at home
- Pink salt can give snow a nice pink shimmer
- If making snow a day ahead you may need to add water when ready to use. Store in the fridge if not using right away
- Use a messy mat underneath play snow. When you are done you can shake the mat out and machine wash
- Pour vinegar on the snow when you are finished to make a bubbling volcano
WATER BEADS – Make non toxic water beads at home
Non toxic water beads make a good sensory play idea for kids. These water beads are easy to make, easy to clean up and are completely non toxic. A waterproof splash mat and kids apron comes in handy for this messy craft activity.
Ingredients to make non toxic water beads for kids
- 1/2 cup tapioca pearls (find them in the supermarket baking aisle)
Tapioca pearls are also known as Sago. these are what you find in the popular bubble tea drink
- 2 1/2 cups water
- food colour
How to make non toxic water beads at home
Pour water into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Over low heat add the tapioca pearls and food colour. Stir the tapioca pearls over low heat continually for 10-15 minutes. Take saucepan off heat and let beads cool for 10 minutes .
Pour the beads into a tray of shallow cool water. As soon as beads have cooled enough they are ready for play.
More tips for messy play water beads
- You can use buy coloured tapioca pearls from asian grocery stores
- Use funnels, ice cream scoops, spoons and more for kids to play with water beads
- If beads clump together just add more water and encourage kids to play with them to loosen the mixture up
- Water beads are best made the night before or day of play and can be kept in a container in the fridge.
- Use a waterproof mat underneath messy water play for easy clean up
So that’s our easy kids craft ideas you can make at home with non toxic pantry ingredients. These slime, snow and water bead kids craft ideas are easy and low cost to make. Oh and a waterproof splash mat under messy play it makes for easy clean up too.
Happy messy playing! Cheers Jacinta