Today was a perfect example. I knew that playing with jelly could be fun. I did it with Lily when she was a baby and she absolutely loved it. It's easy to prepare. It covers all five sensory bases. She was occupied for ages.
It sounded like a fabulous idea in my head.
Less than 10 minutes in however, I was beginning to freak out a little bit. By 20 minutes in, when Ollie got over his initial apprehension at the strange texture and decided that the best thing to do with jelly is scrape it across the table and onto the floor, I felt more than a bit sick.
I soldiered on. Despite Lily throwing an epic toddler tantrum halfway through because she only wanted to eat it. Even when the area around Ollie's high chair was littered with what looked like the insides of cartoon character (TOP TIP - put a mat or towel down first, it saved me from hyperventilating).
And I guess it was pretty fun.
- it smells strongly, depending on what flavours you choose
- it's brightly coloured
- the texture is fun to explore
- babies can taste it without you worrying about toxins
- it makes great splatting sounds and can be easily squished to great effect
I would recommend it, but this sort of activity is best done using a shallow tray or trug. I have heard that some people just put their kids in the bath and I may try that next time. If you're fine with mess then definitely go for it - I asked Lily whether she liked it and she said yes.
Ollie didn't say anything. Obviously. But he spent ages checking out the different colours, squishing it and throwing it on the floor. Thankfully his mischievous smile was so cheeky I just let him get on with it.
As for me. I don't want to even look at jelly for a very long time!
Are you any good at messy play? How do you cope if you're not keen on mess?