My mum had a point when she asked: “Why does everything have to have a special name now? It used to be playing and animal noises, now it’s Messy Play, Tummy Time and Environmental Phonics.”
Well I’m sorry, but Messy Play deserves a moniker all of its own. A teenage foam party would be less hassle. But the look on the wee man’s face made it totally worth it:
I made that salt dough myself – four parts salt to one part cornflower mixed with warm water over a low heat. I decided not to add food colouring after my primary teaching friend Jen admitted she once sent all her children home with blue hands. Of course, I offered it at the same time as a tray of cornflakes, and the resulting crispy balls wouldn’t really have been a problem had he not tried to eat them. His face was a picture. So I replaced the salt dough with a juice cup, which he drained, and then pulled out all the kitchen utensils:
He crashed and smashed and ground the cornflakes into dust, giggling his head off. It kept him amused for a good 30 minutes, after which time I stuffed all his clothes in the washing machine, threw all the utensils in the dishwasher and pulled out the Dyson. Big mistake. It blew the cornflakes everywhere. I had to get down on my hands and knees with the nozzle and stick it under the fridge and everything. Next time I think I’ll play a new game called Outdoor Messy Play.