MAMA Children’s Activity post; “I want to paint with gloopy glue, marbles and big paper!”



My son is now 3 years old and he has a great imagination and LOTS of ideas so this activity was all down to him! His brief to me was:

“I want to paint with gloopy glue, marbles and big paper!”

This was quite a specific request (as things often are with 3 year olds) so he obviously had an idea in mind! I got all the desired items (and a few more he asked for along the way) and we just followed his imagination and had a fantastically fun messy afternoon!!

– Plastic activity mat/tuff tray (for your painting area).
– “Big paper” – We used flip chart paper.
– Masking tape.
– Marbles.
– Paint pots (I use old yoghurt pots/fruit cups).
– “Mixing things” – lollypop sticks and paint brushes.
– Paints (water based, non toxic).
– Water.
– “Gloopy glue” otherwise known as PVA glue.
– Wipes.
– Card cut out butterflies (could be any thing to make prints onto).
– Old towels, Painting clothes/aprons.

We set up our painting area on our new tuff tray (which I totally love and would recommend!) Under specific instruction from my son I stuck the big paper down with masking tape.


We then started mixing up our “paint potions” – the recipe for these was;

  • A big splodge of gloopy glue.
  • Lots of paint.
  • A bit of water.

The potion was then mixed up with a lolly pop stick. Some colours were mixed a bit along the way too.

The “paint potions” were then poured onto the paper in different areas before rolling the marbles through the paint puddles to make lovely patterns across the paper. The marble rolling was really fun we tried to see who could get them from one side of the tuff tray across to the other and see if we could hit each other’s marbles.

After doing this for a bit my son wanted to start mixing the paint up with his hands (one of his favourite activities!) and pour a bit more water onto the painting to make all the colours mix in more.

We also lifted on edge of the paper so the paint fell down like rain.

At this point the temptation to get right into the painting and stomp all over it was too much so he asked to walk on the paint. By this point it was quite slippy so I had to hold him but he enjoyed “ice skating” on the paint then making footprints on a new piece of paper!

The paint was now quite marbled so we did some printing onto some butterfly cut outs which looked lovely!

As you can imagine we were VERY messy after all of this experimenting so a bath was definitely needed prior to cleaning up.

As with lots of messy art this activity was more about the process and letting my son take the lead rather than having a final product in mind. After doing everything my son wanted the large paper was too messy and wet to save but we did take lots of lovely photos of the patterns we made along the way as well as the butterfly prints. It really was fun watching my son think what he wanted to create and see where his imagination took him it made for a really special afternoon so I’d thoroughly recommend you give it a try sometime!

Don’t forget to share any of your makes and follow us at and on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter!
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MAMA Children’s Activity Post: Stained Glass Style Hearts!

Continuing with the theme of Valentine’s Day we decided to make some lovely stained glass style hearts to display and make into cards! This is a quick (slightly less messy) activity with some lovely results.

Equipment you will need:

– Tissue paper (we used red & pinks).
– Sticky-back plastic/contact paper.
– Heart shape to draw around.
– Pen.
– Scissors.
– String to hang them on window/in cards.
– Blank cards.


Firstly have fun with your child ripping up tissue paper into lots of pieces – this is the part that can get a little messy!! My son enjoyed putting all the pieces in a tub and mixing them all up for a while.


Then layout the sticky-back plastic/contact paper with the sticky side facing up and stick all the bits of tissue paper one half. You can do this in whatever pattern you like – we opted for chaos!

When you’ve stuck all your pieces down then fold over the over half of the sticky-back plastic/contact paper and push it (or “bash it”) down firmly.

I had to do the next part as my son is too young but an older child may like to do it. I drew around a heart (actually the magnet we made in a previous blog!) with a pen and then cut around this outline to make lovely stained glass hearts.

We strung some together to hang at the window and tied others into a hole cut out into a blank card to send to others – who could then remove it from the card and hang it up.

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Continue reading “MAMA Children’s Activity Post: Stained Glass Style Hearts!”

MAMA Children’s Activity Post; We LOVE footprints!

With Valentine’s Day coming up it’s a great time to get messy making some lovely cards and gifts for those whom you love! We did this footprint activity last year together with our previous posts “Will you be my Valentine” Parts 1 & 2 – so don’t forget to check those ideas out again too!


This idea is quick and simple but as it uses paint and tiny feet it can get quite messy!!! It is also a good add on activity to incorporate into an experimentation afternoon where you just give your child paints and let them run wild or together with other Valentine’s day crafts like above!

Equipment you will need;
– Plastic activity mat/towels/tuff tray to make your painting space.
– Painting clothes/apron.
– Red paint (water based, non toxic).
– Paint pots/paperplates.
– Brushes/sponges.
– Card.
– Red felt tip pen.
– A small person’s feet!
– Frame (If you wish).

First set up your painting space and squeeze your paint into a pot (an older child may enjoy doing this bit!) Then get ready in your painting clothes/aprons – If you have a small baby it maybe best to do this when they are fed and a bit sleepy and wrapped up in an old towel with one foot free! Don’t just leave them in a nice little outfit like I did the first time I tried doing footprints then have paint all over them and their clothes – I always learn from my mistakes! Also I was unable to do the footprints and take a photo at the same time (I tried and failed!!) so sorry theres no picture for this stage.


You need to paint your child’s foot/let your child paint their foot with not too much paint – otherwise the image will be distorted and smudged. I often put the paint on and do a few practice ones on some scrap card/paper till they started looking good then print on the card you want as best.

For younger children you can either press the child’s foot down on the card which is on a firm surface or put the card on a firm surface (like a placemat) and bring it up to the foot. For older children they can often stamp onto the paper or allow you to place it in the correct place (depending on how far your child is into the “I can do it myself” stage!). The most important thing is they have fun so if they’re not into it and want to just mess around it’s easier to let them play with the paint etc first then try again later.

You need to make the foot prints on your card into a ‘V’ shape – you can either position this ‘V’ in correct position straight off or do lots on a piece of card then cut out best one and stick it in place. It is up to you but I prefer the latter!


Making good footprints can take some practice – I have had many a failed attempt so don’t worry if it doesn’t go well first time round just keep going till you have prints you like.

Once you have your footprint ‘V’ in place you then write the rest of the letters around it to make the word ‘LOVE’. An older child may want to help with this! I framed our final product but you could make cards from them to send to people too!


Don’t forget to check out our Instagram, Facebook and twitter accounts and follow us at where there are other ideas for Valentine’s inspired crafts as well as other fun ideas!!

MAMA Children’s Activity Post: Pumpkin Painting and sensory play!


My son and I did this activity before I started the blog and it was one of the things that went onto inspire me to create it!


– Plastic activity mat/old towels.
– Old clothes/aprons.
– Pumpkin.
– Pumpkin carving equipment – I’d bought a little set from local supermarket.
– Paints (water based, non toxic).
– Paint brushes/sponges.
– Paint pots/paper plates.
– Card.
– Halloween stickers.
– Battery powered tea-light.
– Wipes.

Step 1: Preparation:

My son was around 18 months when we did this activity so wasn’t able to help with the carving of the pumpkin so I did this when he was napping. An older child may be able to help you with this though. I saved the inner bits of the pumpkin and put them in a bowl to use for sensory play.

I set the activity out on the floor to give my son space to experiment. I put out the carved pumpkin (he was into Mickey Mouse at this point!), the paints, paint pots, card, mark making tools, stickers and the ‘pumpkin insides’ in a bowl. We then both got changed into old clothes.

Step 2: Pumpkin experimentation time!!

I demonstrated painting the pumpkins with some of the paint brushes and my son copied me.


He then moved on to using the lid of the pumpkin as a stamp and enjoyed covering it in paint and then dropping it onto the mat and card to make big splosh marks! I’d bought some Halloween themed stickers and we stuck those on some of the painted card too.

He also enjoyed playing with the pumpkin insides and splashing them everywhere too! My son also enjoyed painting himself and using his hands and feet to paint with – something he has continued to do!


Step 3: Tidy, tidy, tidy up!

We put our pumpkin and pictures aside to dry and reusable items to soak. My son was covered in paint after this activity so he definitely needed a bath. I then tidied the rest later on.

Step 4: Displaying your creations!

We bought a battery operated candle and when the pumpkin was dry we put this in and displayed it at our window!

We also put up his paintings around the house to decorate for Halloween!

Hope you all have a fantastically messy and spooky Halloween and enjoy creating lots of MAMA memories!! Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook!

MAMA Children’s Activity Post; Autumn Messy Mash Up!!


With the seasons changing the beautiful autumn colours are everywhere and my son and I have loved going on walks and collecting lots of autumn treasures!

He loves crunching and kicking through the leaves and collecting conkers, acorns, sticks, leaves and anything else’s he can find!

So with all of these wonderful autumn treasures filling up our house I thought we should use them in one of our MAMA afternoons and create some fabulous art!


– Plastic activity mat.
– Old clothes or aprons.
– Card/cardboard/paper/toilet rolls.
– Paint pots.
– Different coloured paints (autumnal colours, water based & non toxic).
– Autumn treasures – leaves, sticks, conkers, acorns, pine cones etc.
– Paint brushes/sponges.
– Wipes.

Step 1: Preparation;

Whilst out and about start collecting up autumnal treasures and when you have enough it’s time to have some messy fun!

I set up the activity space inside. I put the activity mat on the table together with the other equipment, and then we got into our painting clothes.


Step 2: Autumn messy mash up time!

My son squeezed all the paints out into the pots and then started experimenting with all of the autumn treasures. I had no firm plans for this activity just wanted to see what he wanted to do and things just kind of evolved from there.

He used the autumn treasures to make marks on the card, and also enjoyed dunking them in the paint till they were fully covered.

We sponge painted the leaves to make shape outlines and also completely covered them in paint to hide them!

We were running out of some of the colours and my son enjoyed squeezing these bottles to make the paint spray over his pictures! This was quite messy but he enjoyed it so much and it looked great so was well worth it.


We of course also got hands involved to make handprints too – it’s like my sons signature now!

We were thoroughly entertained for a good hour and we had some lovely pictures by the end of it all!

Step 3: Tidy tidy tidy up!

We were both pretty messy by the end as was our activity space. We put our paintings to the side to dry, our reusable bits to soak and put other things in the bin. We wiped down the excess paint and then we both required a good bath! I then did a better clean up later on.

We both really enjoyed this experimental afternoon and would highly recommend just going with the flow sometimes and seeing how things turn out!

Don’t forget to share any of your activities and follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter!

MAMA Children’s Activity Post: “Animal Stamping & Birthday Cards”


We have lots of little card shaped animals (courtesy of Granny) so we decided to do some painting with them and some stamps we had to see what we could create!


– Old clothes/aprons.
– Plastic activity mat.
– Paints (non toxic, water based).
– Paint pots.
– Paintbrushes/sponges.
– Stamping shapes.
– Card cut into animal shapes.
– Extra card for experimenting.
– Wipes

Step 1: Preparation;

I set this activity up at the table with the plastic activity mat and all other equipment. My son helped squeeze all the paints into pots (you may have to do this part for a smaller child).


Step 2: Experimenting with stamps and animal shapes.

Initially we dipped the stamps into the paint directly then onto the card however we found that too much paint went on and when you stamped onto the card it just made big splodges, not the intended shapes. We therefore started to use the paint brushes to put the paint onto the stamps and then stamping – this worked a lot better and we created better defined shapes.

As my son likes to get messy he also painted his hands to make handprints and did some finger painting.

He then wanted me to get more involved so we did some hand prints together which turned out really great and are good memories to keep and we painted together on some larger bits of card.

Step 3: Tidy, tidy, tidy up!

This activity did get nice and messy (which we love!) We needed a wipe down in the kitchen before heading up for a bath! All the reusable equipment needed soaking before a proper wash later and we left our creations to dry.


Step 4: Making cards with our creations!

So after this activity we had a few birthdays coming up so we used some of our animals, hand prints and big paintings to make some birthday cards!

Out of the larger paintings I cut out numbers and letters to spell the name and age of the birthday girl, we then stuck these onto a larger piece of card with some of the decorated animals.


It was also grandad/dad’s birthday so we used one of our combined handprint pictures to make a card from us both!


It is always handy to have some spare handprints/paintings around which you can quickly use to make some personalised cards! Don’t forget to share any of your creations and follow us on instagram, twitter and facebook.

MAMA Children’s Activity Post: Nature Collage with “Sticky Paint”


With all the lovely weather recently we have been outside a lot. Even if it’s just the back garden we’ve found all sorts of birds, animals, plants and insects to look at and learn about. With this in mind, I saved up some pictures from magazines and leaflets of things we’ve seen out and about (and a few things that just looked pretty!). We then used these pictures to create lovely nature themed collages!


– Plastic activity mat.
– Old clothes or aprons.
– Paint pots.
– Cotton buds.
– PVA glue.
– Different coloured paints (water based, non toxic).
– Pictures cut out from magazines/leaflets/card/sequin animals and flowers.
– Card.
– Wipes.

Step 1; Preparation;

Keep an eye out in magazines/leaflets/newspapers for any pictures of things you may have seen out and about – such as birds, ladybirds, bees, ducks, flowers etc. Then cut these out and save them up. When you have enough it’s time to make your nature collage.

I like to put the PVA glue into pots and then mix some paint in as it adds some bright colours to your collage rather than just cleared dry glue. We call it “sticky paint”. An older child can help do this bit!

I set the table up with the plastic activity mat, “sticky paint”, cotton buds (for glue spreading) and card. I then put the pictures onto plates so my son could see them all.


Step 2: Get sticking!!

We have completed quite a few sticking activities together so my son knows to put the “sticky paint” on first then choose the pictures to put on the top. However, if this is new to your child you may want to demonstrate first and I’m sure they’ll then copy you.

As well as getting nice and messy this activity was really good for recognition and word finding skills too – with each picture my son stuck on he would try to name it first and if he didn’t know what it was then he’d ask so he’d then be learning new words.

My son decided his toy horse needed to get in on the action towards the end of the activity and so he made some footprints across the collage – made me think of a new MAMA idea to try out later!


Step 3: Tidy, tidy, tidy up!

We put our collages aside to dry and the reusable items into soak (I then cleaned them properly later).

Good thing about this activity is that you get to peel off the dried glue from your fingers! Also may require a good wash or bath depending how into the activity your child gets! The toy horse also required washing which kept my son occupied for quite along time – another little activity to do again in the future “animal bath time”!


So now you have some beautiful nature collages to display and keep. Don’t forget to share any of your creations with us and follow us at and on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook!


MAMA Children’s Activity Post; “It’s Coming Home!!!”


So the whole country is getting swept up in the World Cup 2018 madness so we thought we’d do a football themed activity this morning to get in the mood for the big match later this evening!


– Plastic activity mat.
– Old clothes/aprons.
– Different coloured paints (water based, non toxic).
– Paint pots and paper plates.
– Mark making tools – balls, brushes, rollers, sponges etc.
– A3 white card.
– Scissors.
– Pencil.
– Masking tape/sticky tape.
– Wipes.

Step 1: Preparation is the key to a good match!

I cut out some stencils on A3 card saying “Its Coming Home” and “Go England”. I then stuck the stencils onto other pieces of A3 white card with masking tape.

We set this activity up outside as the weather is still lovely. I set up the plastic activity mat with the pre-prepared posters, paints, paint pots, paper plates and mark making tools. We then got into our painting clothes and had wipes on standby!


Step 2: Kick off!

My son squeezed out the paint into the pots, onto the paper plates and also directly onto the posters and some mark making tools. He then used the different mark making tools to cover the posters. He rolled the balls around, used brushes, finger painted and enjoyed using the sponges and rollers.

Once covered in paint I took the top stencil layer off to reveal the message below. The stencil itself also looked great!

Step 3: Extra time!

After making the posters my son had fun rolling and pushing around the balls in the left overpaint on the paper plates! He did also kick them around the garden so the grass got a bit of added colour too!

Step 4: Full time, tidy, tidy, tidy up time!

I put the reusable mark making tools in warm soapy water to soak, we wiped down the excess paint and then we went indoors to clean ourselves up!

We’re now waiting for our posters to fully dry so we can have them up for the match later on today! Hope you’re all having fun supporting England, please share any of your football themed creations and don’t forget to follow us at and on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook!


MAMA Children’s Activity Post: Circles!

To help my son learn about shapes I decided to incorporate a shape theme to one of our MAMA afternoons. The shape I chose was circles as there were so many things which were circular around the house that we could use as mark making tools!


– Plastic activity mat.
– Old clothes/aprons.
– Different coloured paints (water-based, non toxic).
– Paper plates.
– Paper/card.
– Circular/spherical mark making tools: different bottle tops, jar lids, corks, balls, round sponges, old sticky tape rolls etc.
– Wipes.

Step 1: Preparation;


For a little while I collected up anything I could find which was circular/spherical so I had a good mix of different sizes and textures. Then once I had a good collection I set up our painting space with the plastic activity mat, mark making tools and paints which I squirted out onto paper plates (an older child can help with this part). I then put out round paper plates to paint on – in keeping with the theme! My son really enjoyed this activity so when I ran out of paper plates we also used pieces of card to continue the activity – always good to have spare paper/card to help activities last longer!

Step 2: Circles, circles everywhere!!

I chose a mark making tool first and showed my son how to dip it into the paint and then put it on the paper plates to create circles. I spoke to him about this shape being a circle and encouraged him to say it too! He enjoyed the freedom to try out all the different Mark making tools, he enjoyed rolling the balls through the paint too and using his hands (not circles but finger prints are close!).

Step 3: Tidy tidy tidy up!

I put the reusable mark making tools into soak so we could use them again another day. We put our creations on the side to dry, wiped down the excess paint and then had a bath. I then cleaned up properly later.

We’re now on the hunt for other shapes to use for another fun MAMA afternoon!! Don’t forget to follow us at and on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!

MAMA Children’s Activity Post: “Happy Father’s Day!”


With Father’s Day coming up we needed to get messy and make him a special card! For this activity we decided to combine two of our messy favourites paint and glue!


– Plastic activity mat.
– Old clothes/aprons.
– Variety of paints (water based, non toxic).
– PVA glue.
– Paint pots.
– Paint brushes/lolly pop sticks/cotton buds.
– Things to stick on – feathers, card cut outs, Pom-poms, tissue paper, foam shapes etc).
– Glitter.
– White Card – A3 for base of card.
– Coloured card – for cut out letters.
– Pencil.
– Scissors.

Step 1: Preparation.

I prepared the base card prior to the activity by folding the A3 white card in half and then cutting out the letters “DAD” from the coloured card and sticking them on.

I then set up the table with the plastic activity mat, paints, PVA glue, paint pots, brushes/lollipop sticks, glitter and things to stick on and base card.


My son helped prepare the “sticky paint” by squeezing in roughly equal quantities of PVA glue and paint in each paint pot. If you have a younger child you may need to prepare this bit for them.

Step 2: Lets get messy!

My son started painting on the “sticky paint” first and then I showed him how to stick the items onto the “sticky paint” to make a beautiful collage. We then got super messy by shaking glitter all over the card for an extra special sparkle!

What I really liked about this activity is because the glue is different colours it adds to the design of the card and doesn’t look out of place. It also mixes things up a bit and allows you to use different textures.

Step 3: Tidy, tidy, tidy up!

We put the card aside to dry and then put the reusable items in to soak. Had an initial wipe of any excess paint and enjoyed he fun of peeling off the dried glue! Then we went for a bath and I finished tidying up once my son was in bed.

We hope you all have fun creating some lovely cards for the special dads in your lives! Don’t forget to share any of your MAMA creations with us and follow us at, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook!