Safe, messy play ideas for babies

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Safe, messy play ideas for babies

Safe, messy play ideas for babies

From the moment you hold your baby in your arms for the very first time, they are constantly learning, discovering and exploring.

As parents, it’s our job to ensure that our little ones get the best start in life. Messy play for babies is a great way to help facilitate their growth and, of course, playtime with your children is always a fantastic bonding opportunity. 

Messy play for babies not only helps to develop the brains bridge nerve connections but it also assists children in learning differences and similarities. There are a whole host of creative, exciting and hands-on messy play ideas for babies that are designed to encourage discovery and development.

We’ve rounded up some of our favourite messy play ideas!

What age can babies do messy play? 

Messy play can safely be introduced from 6 months onwards, or as soon as you notice your little one becoming interested in touching and feeling the world around them. Messy play should always be encouraged as it’s a great learning experience and remember, don’t be afraid to follow your little one’s leads.

Messy play ideas  

Jelly play dough

Jelly play dough is so much fun! Made using jelly crystals, jelly play dough is not only a great sensory play tool but it also smells delicious too. Incredibly versatile, your baby can play with it in lots of different ways, from cutting out different shapes through to rolling it and squeezing it in their hands, jelly play dough will provide hours of fun and it’s completely safe.

Magic rice


Uncooked rice moves like water therefore it’s perfect for facilitating water sensory play. For example, it’s perfect for scooping and mixing together, making it perfect for imaginative play.

Many parents use it to create a pretend building site for mini diggers or it’s a great addition to an imaginary tea party. Kids love tipping the rice into piles too and moving it from one container to another.  

My first play dough

My first play dough is made from taste safe and edible ingredients, making it ideal for facilitating sensory play with babies. Incredibly soft and versatile, little one’s love poking their fingers in it, moulding it into different shapes and squeezing it. This type of playdough should always be exposed off after play.


Babies love spaghetti when it comes to messy sensory play. Once you have cooked the spaghetti and let it cool down, pop it in an empty sand pit, water tub or waterproof ground mat and let your babies get to grips with it. They love the feeling of the slippery pieces between their hands and feet. Oh and this one always provides fantastic photo opportunities.

Porridge oats

Babies also love playing with porridge oats, especially if you also give them lots of pots and buckets that they can use to fill and empty the porridge oats in.  

Bath time play


Bath time is a great way to encourage sensory play and learning and there’s lots of sensory water play toys for bath time that your baby will love playing with. These include everything from sprinklers and bath toys through to jugs and funnels.

Baby Sensory activities are an easy, exciting and fun way to enhance their learning and development. Whatever messy play activities you’re planning for your baby, incorporating our sensory play mats will add another dimension of adventure and exploration. Explore our range of mats here.

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