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  • Writer's pictureMarvellous

Gloop: Cornflour Messy Play

This activity is an all-time favourite when it comes to messy play. Whether your little ones are dressed down to their nappy or ready with rolled-up sleeves, this activity promises a sensory-rich experience that might seem messy but is normally surprisingly easy to clean up.  

Age Group

9 months+ 

Great for babies and toddlers, and even older children who love to get messy. 

What are they learning?

Cornflour play is primarily a sensory activity, it is lovely to experience the soft, gloopy, chalky textures of the mixture. You have the flexibility to let your child explore with their fingers alone or consider incorporating some of our additional suggestions. 

This activity serves as a fantastic way to develop your child’s fine motor skills and can teach valuable lessons in sharing when children play this activity together. Introducing food colouring can turn it into a lesson on colours, while the addition of small world toys like farm animals can spark counting adventures. 

Encouraging imaginative play by introducing plastic tea cups and spoons can also lead to fun cafe-themed games. Cornflour play offers a world of exploration and skill development that's as fun as it is enriching. 

  • Physical Development: Developing fine motor skills through hands-on play. 

  • Communication and Language: Engaging in conversations and following instructions. 

  • Mathematics: Counting and exploring shapes and sizes. 

  • Understanding the World: Learning about materials and basic technology. 

  • Expressive Arts and Design: Encouraging imaginative play and creativity. 

  • Personal, Social, and Emotional Development: Building confidence, sharing, and managing feelings when playing with others. 


What you'll need:

  • A medium-sized container.  

  • Cornflour 

  • Water 

  • Food colouring 

  • Wipe-clean tablecloth  

  • Flannels 


How to set it up:

  1. Lay out your wipe-clean tablecloth on the floor or table - wherever you plan to carry out the activity. 

  1. Place the container in the middle of your cloth. 

  1. Add 2 cups of cornflour with 1 cup of water. 

  1. Mix together and add more water or cornflour if you’d like to make a larger quantity 

  1. Add in any of the extras listed below should you wish. 


Tips and Tricks

To make your cornflour play even more exciting, try adding a few drops of food colouring while mixing it. You can also add in some extracts like peppermint, vanilla, almond, lemon, orange, or lavender to give it a lovely scent. You can usually find these in the baking aisle of your local supermarket. 


Be sure to have some clean flannels on hand for a quick wipe-down of your little one's hands, arms, tummies, and faces once they're done playing. Additionally, rinse off any small world toys under a running tap to keep them clean and ready for the next activity.  


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