Home made non-toxic messy play

Published on

Making your own natural food dyes to use in messy play is not only safe for little ones who like to explore the world by putting everything in their mouth, but is also lots of fun!

Making your own natural food dyes to use in messy play is not only safe for little ones who like to explore the world by putting everything in their mouth, but is also lots of fun! With older children, it can be a great activity to do together - experimenting with different spices, fruits and vegetables to see what colours you can create.

Making the dyes

To make the natural food dyes cut vegetables or fruit into small pieces, cover with water, then bring to the boil and simmer for approx an hour, then drain off the fluid and leave to cool, discarding the fruit or vegetables.

Home made non-toxic messy play

In the photo I have used: Tumeric (Yellow), spinach and brocolli (Green), beetroot(Purple) and red pepper and paprika (Orange).

Now the fun part - using the dyes, with any of the following recipes:

Cornflour Goop

Home made non-toxic messy play

This is a great recipe which can be used with children from a young age - 'goop' has a fascinating property, by which it is in a solid state when it is kept moving, and becomes liquid when it stops moving.

1/2 cup of natural food dye (make sure the food dye is completely cooled)
1 cup cornflour

Mix together and let the fun begin!

'Jelly' Paint

Home made non-toxic messy play

Jelly paint is wonderful to use with babies from when they learn to sit for their very first 'messy play' experiences! It has a lovely texture, and you don't have to worry about what is going into their little bodies should they put a fistful of the paint in their mouths.

1/2 cup of natural food dye
1 heaped tablespoon cornflour.

Mix the natural food dye in to the cornflour slowly, at first to make a smooth paste, and as you add more of the natural dye, to make what will eventually look like a milky liquid. Put the liquid into a saucepan, and stir constantly over a high heat, until it starts to thicken, turn off the heat and continue to stir until it becomes a thick clear - jelly like textured paint.

Playdough

Home made non-toxic messy play

Playdough is a wonderful activity for children, and this home made recipe sure beats the store bought alternative made from petroleum distillate!

1 cup of natural food dye
1 cup of plain flour
1/2 cup salt
2 Tablespoons cream of tartar
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil

Mix all the ingredients in a sauce pan and cook over a low heat stirring all the while, until it starts to form a dough. Knead the dough for a minute or two, and leave to cool until it is a safe temperature for children to play with.