I LOVE getting messy. One of the best parts of being a mom is this thing called “sensory play.” Fancy name for getting completely covered in paint, mud, paste and a host of other materials.
I needed some new ideas for messy play so I did what all modern parents do. I googled.
This week we tested three ideas with mixed results.
First up, Glow in the Dark Bathwater
A glow in the dark bath sounds like the coolest thing ever. I saw the pics on
Being a huge sci-fi geek, to me the water looked like a pool of otherworldly ooze. I couldn’t wait to recreate this. I don’t own a black light, and I’m reluctant to spend a lot of money on these sorts of activities, not knowing if my kids will love it or meh. I asked around to see if someone had one I could borrow.
My friend, Lala piped up “can’t you just buy a black light lightbulb?” Genuis!
I imagined the vitamins costing $5-6. Nope. $9! Granted, I sent my hubby on the errand. He didn’t compare to other stores. He just bought the cheapest ones at Target.
We tested it out in the sink first. Crushed two B complex vitamins boasting 100mg of Thaimine each. 60v Black light lightbulb. Minor glow. For whatever reason, the photo makes it look more impressive than it really was.
I really wanted this blacklight thing to work. I had fluorescent spray paint. I painted some plastic spray containers to use in the bath. The containers glowed much more than the water.
I reasoned that if two vitamins put off a minor glow, 9 would be alien lifeform glow. Big mistake.
I can’t say for sure, because I haven’t tried it again, but I believe the light bulb was much too weak. I would not try this unless you have a black light with a tube bulb and a fair amount of power. Why you ask?
BECAUSE MY BATHROOM REEKS! I have gotten rid of all the containers used in the tub. I have scrubbed the bathtub twice. I have mopped the floor. I have laundered all the towels and bathmats. You know that smell your urine gets when you take B complex? That’s exactly how my bathroom smells. Awesome.
As much as I love this website and will use it again in the future, for us, this one was a miss.
Next up, Marbled Shaving Cream Art
I saw marbled shaving cream candy canes on funathomewithkids.com, but I believe they got the idea from here:
We did this activity on a Saturday morning, and I was just winging it. I cut paper into a whole bunch of shapes. Let the boys help me spray shaving cream on trays. Gave them food coloring to add drops to the cream before swirling into colors.
Only downside on this one is they do become a little flaky and gummy upon drying. I was hoping to hang them into garlands, and I’m sure I could have, but I didn’t want to have to clean up flakes every time I touched them. Great activity if you know the enjoyment is in the “doing” and not necessarily for a keepsake.
Last activity: DIY Squeezable Sidewalk Paint
Got the idea for this one here:
My kids love playing on our driveway and love being wet, so this seemed like a winner for us.
I do not have washable liquid watercolors. I could not find them at Michael’s or Hobby Lobby. I thought about ordering them off of Amazon, but I knew my kids would want to squeeze them and they are a little pricey.
My husband vetoed the food coloring idea, afraid it would stain the driveway. I needed to come up with something else.
My first idea was to crush sidewalk chalk and add it to water. Mixed results on this. It did work, but it is hard to get the chalk fine enough to keep it from clogging the bottle.
Next idea came from again from funathomewithkids:
I loved the idea of it being scented. I wondered if the kool-aid would stain the driveway, but by this point my hubby gave in to the idea that we cannot have nice things.
Funathomewithkids paints and drizzles with the chalk paint, but we used squeeze bottles like thechildrensartgroup. Worked great, smelled awesome, and seemed to clean up pretty easy although I have a few dried spots I need to use the power washer on.
More tested ideas to come!