Top 10 Tips: Best Edible Messy Play Foods for Babies

Baby Week Leeds


In support of Baby Week Leeds initiative, here are our Top 10 Baby Best's Messy Play food ideas!


Before play;
  • Place baby into a nappy or vest top (make sure room is sufficiently warm)
  • Use a black tuff tray to allow baby to sit within the foods below comfortably
  • Place towels around the edges to ensure mess is contained
  • Use a plastic, water proof sheet underneath
  • Perhaps use your old baby bath (if you still have it) for them to wash off quickly and without having to be transferred to another room

Here are our Top 10 favourite foods to use for Messy Play!


1. Rice Play

This is definitely low mess and so much fun!
Coloured with food colouring or just plain, add spoons, pots, pans, colanders…
It’s sensory and also great for scooping and pouring and measuring - it’s magic stuff that somehow can soothe the most fractious baby or toddler!!

2. Edible Painting

Paint, paint, oh glorious pain! An absolute winner for all ages (just make sure it's edible!).
You can use, feet, hands, fingers or if they are willing to hold a brush, then that too.
Another idea is yoghurt and food colouring, or flour and warm water?
Just place some large sheets of paper (you can always pick up a roll from hobby craft) and let your little one become the artist they dream of being!

3. Jelly on a Plate!

We love this wobbling mess - and so do babies! You can always set the jelly with some of their fav plastic toys inside for them to have to dig out

4. Oats or Cereal Play

This is probably one of the easiest yet most versatile ideas for babies.
Some babies don't always like the messy feel of wet play - so dried oats in a box or container is a fab way of still getting them to explore different textures and tastes.
You can always add trucks, diggers for it to become a building site.
And for the very brave, you can start adding in some water!

N/B We also like cooked oats - babies love porridge and it's a great sensory experience for them to play around in it.

5. Gloop (safe slime alternative!)

Is it a solid, is it a liquid??….it’s rare to find a child (or adult!) who isn’t fascinated by gloop! Mix it up with cornflour and water – super simple and creates a great sensory experience for all - try adding in some colour.

6. Cloud Cough/ Kinetic Sand

Super soft, mouldable just like sand (but not as gritty!) and edible!!
It's super easy to make and can provide hours of fun... well not hours, but longer than a few mins :)
PLUS, it's really easy to make - just grab some flour and add some veg oil and mix with your fingers to achieve a crumbly mouldable texture.

7. Chocolate mud

Just follow the cloud dough instructions above – and chuck in some chocolate powder!
Add some plastic pots and a few vegetables and you’ve got your very own veg patch to dig and play with!

8. Cooked Spaghetti/ Pasta Play

We LOOOOVVVVEEEE Spaghetti!!
It's brilliant for developing those fine and gross motor skills and pincer grips, playing with spaghetti is always a big hit and it’s so easy to do!
Cook until just cooked (you can always leave it in a jug with boiled water for 10 mins to create the same effect) and drain.
You can always stir in some food colour if you want to brighten it up a little.

9. Flour

Never EVER underestimate the play properties of plain old flour!
It’s a snowy scene, it’s a snow storm!
It’s great for piling up and knocking down! You can make marks, draw patterns, write in it plus so much more.
Every baby, every child loves playing with flour.

10. Super snow

Again, super easy (But not edible, so please take care!)
Just mix together cornflour and shaving foam and crumble with your hands to create some super snow!


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