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Ty Gwyn Special School

"Learning To Achieve"

Messy Play


You will need:

  • Whip Cream
  • Food Coloring


Two big spoonfuls of whip cream next to each other on the table and put a few drops of blue food coloring in one blob and a few drops of red food coloring in the other blob. Let the children mix in the colours and have some fun. 

Jelly Play Dough recipe

This is a sweet-smelling treat. It’s made using jelly crystals and makes deliciously scented, soft dough in ice cream colours. Make up a few batches using different flavoured jellies and use it to cut out ‘cookies’, bake ‘cakes’ or set up an ‘ice-cream stall’. 

You will need: 

  • 175g flour
  • 85g salt
  • 23g sachet of Hartley’s Jelly crystals
  • 1 tbsp cream of tartar 
  • 225ml water
  • 2 tbsp veg oil


  • Put all the dry ingredients into a saucepan and mix.
  • Pour on the water and oil. Mix until there are no lumps.
  • Place over a low heat, stirring all the while. Keep scraping the dough from the bottom of the pan as it forms. This will take 3-4 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat, cool for five minutes.
  • Knead for three minutes on a chopping board.

Moondust recipe

Mixing for just five minutes makes a powder that’s great for driving cars through, scooping up with mini diggers and making all sorts of tyre tracks. Also, compact it together and it will hold a shape well, so it’s fun with a muffin tray and pots for a spot of pretend baking. Have the hoover on standby, though!

You will need:

  • 1kg flour
  • 200ml vegetable oil


  • Tip the flour into a bowl and pour in the oil.
  • Mix with your hands, rubbing the mixture between your fingertips, as if you’re making a crumble topping. It’s ready when, after 3 to 5 minutes, the mixture sticks together when squeezed.

Clever sand

Pinch a few handfuls of clean sand from the sandpit to make this. All the other ingredients make it extremely easy to mould, so your youngster will enjoy pressing it into pots to make mini sandcastles. It’s fun to add food colouring to the water before mixing, if you like – try making two colours, so they gradually mix to make a new colour as he plays. This can be stored in an airtight container for another day – spray on a little water if it dries out between plays.

You will need:

  • 1 litre play sand
  • 110g cornflour
  • 1 tbsp baby shampoo
  • 200ml water


  • Put the sand into a large bowl and mix in the cornflour.
  • In a separate container, mix the baby shampoo and water.
  • Pour the liquid into the sand mixture and mix well. Add a little more water if you need to, until the mixture starts to clump together.

Rainbow spaghetti

A tub of these wriggly worms makes for great fine motor skills practice, and the sensory experience is unlike any other! Pull a worm to see how much it stretches. Chop it up with a toy knife. Use tongs to try to pick it up. Pull individual strands out and lay on a piece of paper to make interesting shapes – leave these overnight to dry and he’ll enjoy snapping them too.

You will need:

  • 500g spaghetti
  • Sealable freezer bags
  • Different coloured food colouring


  • Cook the spaghetti according to the instructions on the packet. Drain into a colander and rinse under cold running water until cool.
  • Divide the spaghetti into as many freezer bags as you want colours.
  • Add a few drops of a different coloured food colouring into each bag – a little goes a long way. Seal each bag and move the spaghetti around inside: your toddler will enjoy helping you do this.
  • Leave for 10 minutes to absorb the colour, then tip all the spaghetti into a large tub.