Today is Roald Dahl day which is basically a big celebration of all things Roald Dahl related! It’s celebrated every year on 13th September – Roald Dahl’s birthday. As he’s my favourite children’s author, I thought we’d get involved with a themed messy play activity!
I’ve loved Roald Dahl’s stories for as long as I can remember. As a child I would read them over and over and never get bored. I loved the magic, the nonsense and the horrible characters. I can’t wait until Ollie is old enough for me to read them to him at bedtime!
Although I loved all the stories, my favourite was always George’s Marvellous Medicine. So what better way to celebrate Roald Dahl day than making our own marvellous medicine!
This is a great sensory and messy play activity for children. Toddlers will enjoy the colours, watching the medicine fizz up and just generally making a mess!
For older children, you get could them to read the book first and make their own ingredients. They could even write their own magic spell like George does!
You can use this activity to teach children about colours and what happens when they mix different primary colours together. It also includes the classic vinegar and baking soda experiment. This is good fun and a great way to get the kids interested in Science!
You will need:
A Large Saucepan
A Big Spoon or Ladle
A Large Container – such as a tuff tray, sandpit or storage box
Bicarbonate of Soda
Empty bottles and containers
Washing Up Liquid
Anything else you want to throw in!
Preparing Your Marvellous Medicine Ingredients:
Now a lot of the ingredients George uses in the book actually aren’t safe for messy play – but that doesn’t mean you can’t pretend!
Save some old bottles and containers from the recycling bin and make your own labels to match items from the book. How far you want to go with this is really up to you! George includes all kinds of ingredients from face powder to shoe polish and even animal medicines so you’ve got plenty to choose from. If Ollie was a bit older, I would have made more items to match the book. But as he’s only a toddler, I just made a couple.
I went with ‘CANARY SEED’ using an old spice bottle filled with mustard seeds. I thought this would make a good noise and be fun for little hands to shake up and pour.
I also made some ‘FLOWERS OF TURNIP’ perfume using an old squirty bottle filled with food colouring and baby oil.
The rest of the containers were filled with different things such as water, food colouring, glitter, baby oil and washing up liquid. I wanted them to be safe to play with but look fun and exciting for a toddler at the same time.
I used different types of containers to keep him interested. He had bowls to scoop from, bottles to pour, pumps to press down and a little squeezy bottle.
I mixed my bicarbonate of soda with some flour and added some glittery and sparkly stars. I put this in a bowl with a big spoon for him to scoop out.
I mixed the vinegar with some blue food colouring in an old baby oil bottle so Ollie could easily squeeze it all out.
Invitation To Play:
I set the saucepan down in the middle of our tuff tray with all the ingredients around it. If you don’t have a tuff tray, a sandpit or large storage box would work well too. You need it to be large enough to contain your pan, and the ingredients that might overflow from it! I left the vinegar and bicarbonate to one side until we had almost finished making our medicine. You don’t want to add these ingredients until the end as they’re what makes it fizz!
I let Ollie investigate the different bottles and containers on the tray. He was most interested in the ‘canary seed’ because it made a good noise when he shook it.
He picked all the different bottles up and had a go at squirting and pouring them into the saucepan. I found an old hand wash bottle was great for working on his fine motor skills. Pressing the pump down is something we take for granted but for a toddler who hasn’t used one before it’s a good challenge.
Once we’d emptied all the bottles out and given it a good mix, I let him add the bicarbonate of soda and flour mixture. He mixed it up and the medicine turned thick and gloopy. Next I gave him the squirt bottle full of vinegar. He squeezed it all in and we watched the whole thing bubble up as the vinegar reacted with the bicarbonate of soda.
Ollie loved watching it fizz and bubble and thought it was really funny. He liked it so much we had to empty the pan out and do it all again!
For more messy play ideas check out Fun With Food!