Messy Creative Kids
Do your kids also love to make a mess? The positive word for this is being creative, I think, and I’m all for creativity! I don’t have a great love for cleaning though and to be perfectly honest, I’m a bit up-tight about mess.
The truth is that kids love to get their hands into the mess, the gloop and the slime and research keeps reminding us how valuable this is for their learning and development.
So here is a handy list of gifts that will engage your children’s minds and hands (and maybe even also teach them how to use a mop, bucket and cloth afterwards too – double bonus!!). I survived all of these gifts because I realised some of them are best used outside!
(please note this post contains affiliate links, if you choose to make a purchase I will receive a small commission at no cost to you).
Squidgydoodle kindly sent us their Spooky Craft Box to try and around Halloween time and both Fia and Rebecca had great fun with this kit creating four different crafty projects. The box contained everything needed to make fireworks paintings, a monster hand puppet, a spiderweb painting and a bowl of slime.
A few of the things we appreciated was that the kit came fully stocked with absolutely everything to complete the tasks – no dashing out to the shops for added ingredients! Also the activities were not overly scary or filled with gory imagery of blood and guts. Ideally I’d recommend this kit for kids aged 4 to 10 but my younger two are 9 and 12 and they still enjoyed it very much.
Fia decided to make a double sided monster hand puppet to use up as much of the kit as possible. I present to you ‘Multiple Personality Disorder Monster’ (or Mum for short).
I also loved that the slime was made out of natural psyllium husk so no hidden nasty ingredients there.
We are spoilt living in Wexford with a fabulous fireworks display every year at the opening of the National Festival Opera so the timing of this fireworks crafting activity was inspirational!
And finally Rebecca made the spider web painting inside the box and I made a video. Inspiration for this activity is found closer to home!
This Spooky Craft Box sells for £11 and there are three other seasonal craft boxes available, the Winter Wonderland Craft box would make an ideal stocking filler.
I have been given a 10% online discount code to offer you which is valid until midnight the 8th December, simply type in LIBERTY. They also do a range of party boxes which would be ideal for keeping little fingers busy during a party. View the full Squidydoodle range here on their website.
Tie Die Kit
I wrote about this amazing Tie Die kit earlier in the year in my post about the range of gifts we received from Interplay but I have to mention it here as it really was a fabulous set, the clothes are still being worn and the colours are still vivid after six months of use.
This was a messy activity and we did it on a well covered table with plenty of kitchen paper to mop ups spills but it was very successful. We had plenty of dye left over so could have done more.
We then went and bought another kit so that Eva (aged 16, my eldest) could run this as a craft activity on a camp with 9 kids and reported that the 9 kids all loved the activity ( and she also came home with spare dye!)
Really I couldn’t recommend this highly enough but you definitely need adult supervision and it takes up to 8 hours for the dye to set.
These Slime Blaster guns were sent to us from Zimpli Kids to try out and review. I have to admit when they frst arrived my heart sank into my boots, the thought of slime being shot all around the house definitely didn’t fill my heart with delight, even though the kids were thrilled.
However, I was assured the slime washed off easily and besides, the kids promised to only use them outside.
So they did, they had a blast (pun fully intended) running around the garden trying to shoot our visiting Spanish Student. I definitely recommend this for making a visitor feel right at home!
Each gun comes with 12 sachets of slime powder – which makes four litres of slime! It is easy enough to remove the green capsule from the rear of the gun to fill it with water, then you just pour the powder into the capsule and leave for five minutes before screwing it back onto the back of the gun.
The gun is robust and feels well made, it is large but not heavy and the pump action is easy to use, even for my 9 year old. The firing range is very impressive, it says up to 7m (23ft) on the box and I didn’t measure but the Spanish student is fast and he still couldn’t get away in time.
I can happily report that the slime does some off easily in water and once the sachets are all finished you can use these as ordinary water guns.
I’m also happy to report the Spanish Student loved staying with us and wants to come back.
For more information of if you’d like to purchase this gun, you can find it here on Amazon.
My girls are prolific bakers, which is wonderful as we all love to eat their experiments! They are much more accomplished than I was at their age, I’m amazed that my youngest was able to bake cakes when she was 8 given just a bit of freedom. In the process of allowing them to do things I have had to learn to let go a bit myself and now I don’t mind all the cleaning afterwards as long as they help. And besides the rewards are well worth it!
Last Christmas I bought a large cake tin and filled it with proper baking supplies from a baking supply shop for Rebecca, who was 11 then. She feels very grown up using the proper equipment.
I chose a bright supply of measuring cups and spoons, a piping set, a cake tester, icing spatulas and pattern makers, pretty cup cake cases, decorative pastry cutter and a tiny chocolate grater and packaged them all in a large Christmas themed cake tin.
However, if you would like to buy a ready made kit for younger kids you could try something like this:
Drawing is a very popular activity in our household, and not surprising really as ‘monkey see monkey do’! This has always been one of my favourite pastimes and it really is the simplest and most effective activity to connect with a child. You don’t even need to know how to draw, all you need is a piece of paper and a few pencils to engage with and have a bit of fun together drawing silly monsters or fantasy maps.
This is beautiful kit by Derwent comes in a sturdy wooden box and even contains a sketch pad and is very affordable at just under £22. (And is the least messy out of all the activities!!)
Out of all the posts on my blog, the following three are the most popular, if you are wanting to learn some drawing tips yourself, have a look at these:
I hope you have found some ideas to get messy with your family this winter and that you enjoy it as much as we have.
Disclaimer: I received some of these activities in return for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are our own.
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