MAMA Children’s Activity Post: Nature Treasure Painting!


We’ve spent a lot of time outside in the woods collecting “treasure” these last few weeks, so we decided to use all of these fantastic finds to create some messy art, and what better place to do it but outside in the sunshine!


– Plastic activity mat.
– Old clothes/aprons.
– Variety of paints (water based, non toxic).
– Paint pots.
– Canvas.
– Paper/card.
– Treasure!! (aka sticks, pine cones, leaves, flowers, stones, long grass etc!).
– Paint brushes (to use alongside the treasure).
– Wipes.

Step One; Preparation.


We did this activity out in the garden. I set up two large plastic mats and put out the paints, paint pots, brushes, canvas and card. My son and I then piled up all the treasure we’d collected and also went round the garden and found some other exciting things to use (fresh flowers, grass and leaves). My son then squeezed out the different coloured paints into all of the pots. If you have younger children you may need to do this part.


Step 2: Painting with nature, surrounded by nature!

I showed my son how to dip the “treasure” in the paint and use it to make marks on the canvas/card. He got it quite quickly and enjoyed making lovely patterns. In between he also kept running round the garden getting new things to try out!

We painted the canvas first as this was to be a Father’s Day gift so I wanted the paints to be the brightest (my son has a tendency to mix up all the paints as activities go on!).

After the canvas and between games of football/bat and ball, he also did some experimenting on some card. His favourite things to paint with appeared to be all of the different sized sticks and the pine cones! I loved the freedom being outside gave us – even if some of there grass got a little painted in the process!


Step 3: Tidy, tidy, tidy up!

We left our paintings in the sun to dry and saved any unused treasure for next time! We wiped down the excess paint and then were doing some water play so we were clean quite quickly. Had a bath later however as somehow some paint had ended up in our hair!

So now you have some beautiful nature paintings you can give as a personalised gift for the upcoming UK father’s day or for any other special occasion!


Don’t forget to share any of your MAMA creations and follow us at, as well as on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

MAMA Children’s Activity Post: Royal Wedding Bunting!


With Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding quickly approaching we thought we should get a bit messy making some red, white and blue bunting to decorate our house ready for the celebrations!!


– Plastic activity mat/towels.
– Old clothes/aprons.
– Mark making tools (brushes, sponges, bottle tops, Pom-Poms etc).
– Red, white and blue paint (water-based, non-toxic).
– Glitter.
– Paint pots.
– Paper doilies.
– Card.
– Wipes.
– Scissors.
– String/wool.
– Paper clips.

Step 1: Preparation.


Set up your painting space on table or floor and put on your painting clothes/aprons. We put our activity mat on the table then set out the paints, paints pots, mark making tools, doilies and glitter so they were all in easy reach. I later added in some card which I had on stand by as my son quickly needed more things to paint!

Step 2: Getting royally messy!

My son squeezed the paints into the pots – if you have a younger child you may need to do this part. To add some extra sparkle we then added some red glitter into our red paint.


We used the mark making tools to decorate the doilies (and the card). My son then painted his hands blue and made some lovely handprints so there was a great mixture of patterns and shapes which were created!

Step 3: Tidy, tidy, tidy up!

As my son wanted to put LOTS of paint on his hands this ended up being very messy – but then that’s what we love! We put our creations to the side to dry and put our reusable mark making tools to soak. I then dunked my son in a bath which quickly became very blue! I finished cleaning up when he was having his afternoon snack.

Step 4: Making the bunting.


Once the doilies and card were dry I cut them into triangles and then attached them to some wool I had strung up with red and blue paper clips. An older child may be able to help with the cutting stage. One of the pieces of card with hand prints on I kept whole as I liked it so much. We then used our red, white and blue bunting to decorate the house in preparation for the royal wedding celebrations!


We hope you all have fun celebrating this Saturday and we wish all the best to the happy couple!! Don’t forget to share what you’re doing to celebrate on instagram, Facebook or twitter and follow us at

MAMA Children’s Activity Post: Mixing water colours with water play!


We’ve been fortunate to have some lovely weather over the last few weeks and there’s apparently a heat wave on the way (fingers crossed)! With this lovely weather we have spent a lot of time playing outside in the garden. This usually means some element of water play as this is my son’s favourite! One day he then requested his “water paints” so I thought why not let’s take the art outdoors and have some fun!


– Plastic activity mat.
– Towel.
– Old clothes/aprons.
– Watercolour paints.
– Mark making tools (brushes/sponges/rollers/Pom-Poms).
– Water pots (small and large).
– Paper/card.
– Toys for water play.
– Wipes.
– Sun cream and hats!

Step 1: Setting up your outdoor space.

We chose to do this activity on the grass where we had a little bit of sun and a little bit of shade. I put out the activity mat and towel along with the paints, water pots, mark making tools and toys. We put on old clothes and made sure we had suncream and sun-hats on. We then filled our pots with water – my son liked using the watering cans to do this!


Step 2: Water playing and painting!!

We had used the water colour paints before in a previous blog (Drip drip drip little April showers) so he had the right idea from the get go this time with regards to wetting the mark making tools then putting them in the paint and then creating beautiful patterns on the paper. He loved mixing it up with some splashing and waterplay in between.

I left the activity out for a while and he kept coming back to it after a little play elsewhere which made it a good worthwhile activity. Also as it involved water it kept him nice and cool and relatively clean!


Step 3: Tidy tidy tidy up!

As it was sunny we left our paintings to dry in the sun. We then used our water to wash our mark making tools with and water the plants with. Wipes sufficed with regards to the rest of the clean up! This activity was a lot more about fun, and keeping cool rather than the final product that being said he did make some lovely patterns.


We hope you all have some fun taking the art outdoors in the lovely weather! Please feel free to share any of your MAMA activity makes with us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter and follow us at

MAMA Children’s Activity Post: Bird House Painting!

My son loves playing in the garden. His favourite activities are watering the flowers, feeding the birds, finding insects and playing football! Therefore I wanted to try and make something together that we could use to decorate the garden and help attract more wildlife – so here’s how we created our bird house!


– Plastic activity mat or old towels.
– Old clothes or painting aprons.
– Wooden (untreated) bird house.
– Paint brushes.
– Acrylic paints.
– Water pot.
– Card.
– Wipes.

Step 1: Preparation.

As this was quite a contained activity I set up our painting area on the table. I put the bird house, paint brushes, paints and water pot on the activity mat and then we got into our painting clothes.


Step 2: Painting time!

The acrylic paints we had were in little tiny pots – they were actually left over from other activity sets from over the years so always good to keep the extras for future projects!

My son found it quite fun using the little pots as opposed to our normal large ones or paper plates. It was really good for his fine motor skills and he concentrated really hard!

To begin with I encouraged cleaning the brushes in between colours however, my son enjoyed mixing the paints and as he was doing this and layering the paints on it began to look like camouflage which I thought looked great. Also probably best a bird house isn’t too bright or it may scare the birds away!! So I guess for this activity the muddying of the colours was actually beneficial!

Whilst my son was great at covering most of the bird house I did help to do some of the edge bits to finish it off and make sure it was all covered.

Step 3: Experimentation time!

Once the bird house was complete I put out some card and my son then had fun using his hands and brushes to use up the rest of the paint. He also liked pouring some of the water from the pot onto this to make a nice messy, watery, sensory play to finish our MAMA afternoon!


Step 4: Tidy tidy tidy up!

I put the bird house to dry and brushes to soak. Then I mopped up the excess paint with wipes before dunking my son in the bath! I finished cleaning the rest of the brushes and wiping the mat once he was all in PJs.

Now you have a lovely bird house to decorate your garden with and hopefully attract some little birds! Hope you all have fun taking the art outdoors!

Don’t forget to share any of your creations we’d love to see them at or Instagram, Facebook or Twitter!

MAMA Children’s Activity Post; “Drip drip drip little April showers”


As is traditional in April it’s been raining quite a lot, which has been fantastic for puddle jumping but has also meant quite alot of time spent inside. We went to buy some new paints which we could use to make some rainy style pictures and the perfect ones were…… watercolours of course!

– Plastic Activity mat/old towels.
– Old clothes/aprons.
– Watercolour paints.
– Water pots.
– Paint brushes.
– Card/paper.
– Pom-Poms.
– Wipes.

Step 1: Preparation.


Set out your activity mat on the floor or table. Put out your watercolour paints, paper/card, paint brushes and fill your water pots. This is all I had ready when we started this activity but then half way through my son requested Pom-Poms, these actually made the activity a lot of fun and made some great rain drop marks so if you have some get these ready too!

Step 2: Experimenting with watercolours!

We’d not used watercolours before so I had to show my son how to get the brushes wet then rub them onto the watercolour palates and then brush onto the paper. After a few goes of trying to add the water directly onto the palates or putting the palates into the water he finally got it and he was away!

He made a wide range of different marks with the brushes and then asked for Pom-Poms. He really enjoyed getting these wet, rubbing them in the paint and then dropping them onto the paper. They made lovely splash marks! He also enjoyed mixing different colours in the water pots.

Step 3: Tidy tidy tidy up!

Compared to some MAMA activities this was easier to clean up as it was mainly water – so wipes were all we really needed! Therefore if you’re looking for a fun messy activity without too much clean up then watercolours are for you!

So there you are a lovely April shower inspired MAMA activity which is quick and easy and results in some lovely atmospheric paintings!

Don’t forget to share any of your MAMA activities on Instagram, Facebook or twitter!

MAMA Children’s Activity Post; Easter Basket Painting!

With Easter just around the corner we needed to be ready with an Easter basket for our Easter Egg hunt! We found a lovely card bunny Easter basket at our local pound store so we were excited to bring it to life with lots of nice colours!


For the painting bit;

– Plastic activity mat/old towel.
– Old clothes/aprons.
– Lots of different coloured paints (water-based, non-toxic).
– Card Easter Basket.
– Mark-making tools – we used paint brushes, cotton-wool balls, Pom-Poms, Toilet rolls & paint rollers.
– Pots/paper plates for the paints.
– Wipes.

For the Decoration bit;

– Permanent marker pen.
– Googley eyes.
– Double sided sticky tape.
– ‘Easter Grass’

Step 1: Preparation.


I set this activity out on the floor to give us more space. I put the paints, mark-making tools and basket on the activity mat and had lots of wipes on stand by! I also got all of my bath things ready as I felt this one could be messy!

Step 2: Mark-making, messy time!

First I let my son squeeze out all of the paints into the pots/onto the paper plates. He then chose which mark-making tools to use and I just let him get on with it.

He enjoyed the freedom of being able to use whatever he liked, he also ‘ordered’ me to do some painting too, so I had to oblige! He liked layering the paints and then stamping with the toilet roll on top.

Step 3: More Eggs-perimentation!

My son really liked the stamping with the toilet rolls, which I had tried to mould into an egg shape. So after we had covered the Easter basket in paint he used this on some extra sheets of card to make some more picture. He also used his favourite mark-making tool at this point……his hands!

Step 4: Tidy, tidy, tidy up!

This activity did get quite messy especially as he wanted me to join in so I was also covered in paint! We wiped down our hands, shut the kitchen door and went and had a bath. I then came down and tidied the paint brushes and put the pictures and basket to dry.

Step 5: Decorating the bunny basket.

I used a permanent marker pen to give our bunny a face and ears. I then used double sided sticky tape on the googley eyes so my son could stick them on. We filled the basket with easter grass so we were then ready to collect eggs on Sunday!


We hope you all have a very Happy Easter and don’t forget to share any of your MAMA creations on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook!!

MAMA Children’s Activity Post: “Hoppy Easter, enjoy the MAMA Egg-stravaganza”!!


With Easter rapidly approaching we decided to get into all things Easter Eggs and Bunnies – in a messy way of course! We were lucky enough to be sent some lovely Easter-themed art supplies by Granny and we were eager to try them out!


For the Painting bit;

– Activity mat/old towel.
– Old clothes/aprons.
– Different coloured paints (water-based, non toxic).
– Pre-made 3D card Easter eggs.
– Shoe box.
– Sticky tape.
– Pots to use as egg cups/stands (I had an old kiwi fruit holder which was perfect).
– Paint brushes.
– Sheets of card.
– Bunny shaped card/decorations.
– Wipes.

For the decoration bit;

– PVA glue.
– Pot for glue.
– Brush.
– Felt tip pens/permanent markers.
– Easter themed stickers.
– Googley eyes (I used double sided sticky tape on the back so it was easier for my son to then stick on).

For Displaying;

– Easter Basket.
– Easter grass/shredded paper.
– Easter chicks.

Step 1: Preparation.


I set this activity up on the floor as I felt it gave more room for the squeezing of paint and experimenting afterwards but you could do it at the table if you prefer. Put the activity mat and towels on the floor, set out your paints, shoe box, 3D card Easter eggs and sticky tape.

Step 2: Squeezing & Shaking!

Firstly my son chose different coloured paints and squeezed them into the shoe box one at a time. He then dropped one of the 3D card Easter eggs into the box and rolled it around a bit.

We then taped the lid on and he shook the shoe box in all directions! We had a bit of music on in the background so it turned into a bit of a dance party! We then opened the box to find a painted egg – now the first time we did this I think we may have shaken the box a bit too much as it had turned into more of an overall brown colour rather than vibrant marbled colours. So for our second attempt we didn’t shake as long and the colours looked more marbled and vibrant! (We wiped down the box in between attempts).

With our third egg my son wanted to squeeze paint straight onto it rather than shaking again. This was nice and messy. He then created some lovely patterns by using a paint brush to mix the layers in a bit! We also decided to liven up our first brownish ‘shaken egg’ by squeezing some more paint onto it as well -this worked really nicely and as it gave it a brighter appearance. So the lesson learnt form this activity was if in doubt add more paint!!

Step 3: Experimenting time!

In our parcel of supplies from Granny we had some little card rabbit cut outs and we’d also bought a little wooden rabbit decoration. As there was lots of nice marbled paint left in the shoe box we did some printing onto the card rabbits and painting onto the wooden decoration. My son also enjoyed mixing all the left over paint into a big painty mess!

Step 4: Tidy, tidy, tidy up!

We put out painted eggs onto little pots/cardboard trays and the card rabbits onto pieces of coloured card to dry. I hung the wooden decoration up as it was painted on both sides!

All reusable items were then out into soak, excess paint wiped up and then it was bath time! I cleaned everything properly later on.

With regards to the eggs once dried at one end I turned them over so the other side could dry too and not stick to the pots.


Step 5: Decoration time.

With the ‘shaken’ and painted Easter eggs I put on a layer of PVA glue to the top half, then let this dry, turned it over and did the bottom half. This gave them a shiny appearance. I then displayed them with some ‘Easter grass’ and baby chicks in a basket as our easter table centre piece.

With the card rabbits we used felt tip pens/permanent markers, googley eyes and Easter themed stickers to produce a lovely Easter picture to display as well as Easter cards to send to family.

We also decorated our wooden decoration with google eyes and wrote “SOME BUNNY LOVES YOU” onto his tummy. He has then been displayed proudly in the living room!


We hope you all have a very Happy Easter and enjoy getting messy and making memories!!!Please share any MAMA activities you get up to and don’t forget to follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook!!

My MAMA Journey Part 3: “The great paint debate”!!!


So after being able to cope with a lot of mess I wanted to be able to use paint at home to create pictures I could display and keep. My first obstacle was knowing which paint was ok on my son’s delicate, eczema prone skin. I’m not sure if this is an issue everyone else had but I found it incredibly confusing as the majority of paint I found in shops would say “not suitable for under 3 years of age, adult supervision required”. This led to confusion as to whether the paint was actually unsafe on the skin/to ingest or it just needed to be supervised?! I did a lot of internet searching, spoke to other mums and asked at messy play sessions…….I probably worried ALOT more about this than I should have! As with most things to do with parenting there were multiple answers – however the general gist was;

1. Children shouldn’t eat the paint (the odd bit won’t hurt so don’t panic if they have a little taste, my son has accidentally licked a bit and he’s still ok).
2. Children should be supervised when using it – to stop them eating it mainly.
3. The majority of paints made for children are water based and non-toxic so shouldn’t actually cause harm.
4. If you are worried about delicate skin try a little test patch before you let your child roam free.
5. Some colours can appear to stain the skin – but I’ve found can easily be removed by a good rub down in the bath!

After looking into all things paint I decided to make my own edible paint, which is what the messy play sessions we went to tended to use. This in itself was a challenge as there were so many recipes to use. I finally settled on a cornflour recipe;

– 2 cups cornflour.
– 1 cup cold water.
– Approximately 4.5 cups boiling water.
– Food colouring.

Step 1: Mix the cold water with the corn flour and it makes a sticky paste.

Step 2: Add the boiling water in stages, mixing well in between until you get to a custard type consistency that you are happy with. This is the stage that took me a few goes! I added all the boiling water at once initially and it went terribly wrong and I ended up with a big gloop of solid yuck. The second time I added too much water and it was too thin to paint with – this is why I say approximately 4.5 cups as it depends on how it’s looking when you stop adding it!

Step 3: Divide the mixture into pots and add different coloured food colouring.

Step 4: Let you child get messy and play!

My son loved playing with this edible paint and he did try to eat it but was NOT impressed with the taste. The problem I found with this paint was when it dried it did not look very vibrant and I was unable to keep the art work as after a while the paint flaked away. I did however take lots of photos and he had fun so it was a successful activity in my mind and as I always say it’s the process and fun rather than the final product!

After using edible paint for a while I bit the bullet and bought some children’s poster paints in order to make the Christmas cards we could send out. I think as he had tried eating the cornflour paint and didn’t like it he didn’t put the poster paint in his mouth as much as I had feared – it’s as if he knew it wasn’t for eating and didn’t taste very nice. So from this point of view I was glad I had tried the edible paint first. Also even though my son had eczema the poster paint didn’t appear to aggravate this which was one of my main concerns, and he got covered in it regularly!

The main error I made when first using poster paints was, for some reason, even though I used my activity mat, I did the activity in the living room, on carpet near our sofa……BIG MISTAKE (at least it was water-based so was easily cleaned and the husband was out….)! We all learn by our mistakes I guess!!

So hopefully I’ve helped dispel some of the fears surrounding paint choices for younger children. Feel free to message me with any questions and share any MAMA creations with us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter!

MAMA Children’s Activity Post: “Flowers for MAMA”


With my son’s favourite painting tool being the cotton-bud and my favourite flowers being hydrangeas we decided to combine these to make some lovely flowery Mother’s Day Cards.


For the painting bit:

Plastic activity mat/old towel.
Aprons/painting clothes.
Paper plates.
Pastel colour paints (water based Non-toxic).
Cotton buds.
Elastic hair bands.
White cards.

For the decoration bit:

Piece of card.
Felt tip pens.
Pastel coloured craft foam sheets.
Double sided sticky tape.

Step 1: Preparation.


Put activity mat on floor or table. Put out your paints (I used pastel blue, purple and pink), paper plates and cards. Tie a bunch of cotton buds together, I did this using an elastic hair band but you could use tape/elastic bands etc and add these to your painting area.

Step 2: Flower painting and paint swirling!


I dipped the bunches of cotton buds into the paint and showed my son how they made the marks on the card. I then let him have fun mixing the colours and making lovely flowers on the cards. After doing this he decided he wanted to use the cotton buds to mix up the paints into lovely swirly colours so it turned into a bit of messy play/sensory exploration at the end!


Step 3: Tidy tidy tidy up!

Put your cards aside to dry. As with the sheep cards from the last post most of the things used in this activity are not reusable so it was a quick tidy, wipe down the mat and then bath time!

Step 4: Flower decorating.

I did a variety of things for these cards depending on how the marks ended up on the card so you really can mix and match. For some of them I drew around my son’s hand on some card then used this as a template to cut out foam fingers which we stuck onto the cards with double sided sticky tape to look like stems of flowers.




I also cut out foam shaped flower pots to stick on the cards (again using double sided sticky tape as this is easier for my son at the moment but you could use PVA glue). I used the flower pots as the area to write “Mum” or whatever you wish to write with felt tip pens.


To give the flowers a bit more definition I drew round them with felt tip pens of the same colour, I also drew little leaves in random places to fill out the space.

And there you go some lovely flower cards to give to your MAMA’s for Mother’s Day!

Don’t forget to share any of your MAMA creations on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter and keep checking the blog for new ideas

MAMA Children’s Activity Post; “I Love Ewe Ma-Maa”


With Mother’s Day coming up I thought this was a perfect opportunity to try out some new mark-making tools and create some lovely cards for all of those special MAMA’s out there!


For the painting bit;

– Activity mat/old towels for floor or table.
– Old painting clothes or aprons.
– Paper plates.
– Clothes pegs.
– Cotton wool balls (& Pom-poms).
– White paint (water based, non-toxic).
– Coloured card.
– Pencil.

For the decorating bit;

– Scissors.
– Pens – permanent markers/felt tips.
– Black, craft foam sheets.
– Ribbon/bows.
– Stick on goggly eyes.
– Double sided sticky tape (could use PVA glue if preferred).

Step 1: Preparation.

Compared to other MAMA activities this one does not need that much preparation so it is a quick one to do if you don’t have too much spare time. I put the activity mat on table (could use floor), clipped the cotton wool balls onto the pegs and then put the paper plates/paint tubes and card on the table and we were ready to go.


Step 2: Cotton wool sheep painting time!

So my son had an area to aim for with the white paint we drew around our hands on the card with pencil and I made it look like a sheep by adding a head so he understood what we were trying to make. You could just draw a circle but we always like to practice drawing round hands!


I then let my son squeeze the white paint onto the paper plates and showed him how to dip the cotton wool ball/peg combo into it and make splodges onto the handprints. He then copied and I just pulled the card away when enough was on there. Whilst doing this my son noticed some of his Pom-poms in the painting box so we tried using these to make the splodges too – they worked really nicely and actually made a cleaner circle mark than the cotton wool balls. So I’d advise using some Pom-poms too!

Step 3: Experimentation time!

As white paint isn’t exactly very exciting for little ones who are used to lots of colour, I got out some other colour paints for my son to squeeze and paint with – once we’d made the nice white sheep cards first!


Step 4: Tidy tidy tidy up!

Compared to other MAMA activities this was not as messy however as we have always had a bath after our MAMA activities we had one anyway! There was also not as much to tidy as the cotton wool and Pom-poms were not really reusable so all that was needed was a wipe down of the activity mat!

Step 5: Creating the sheep!

If there are any visible pencil marks then rub these out.

Draw a sheep head and two legs onto the black craft foam and cut them out. Stick two goggly eyes onto the head. I then put double sided sticky tape (my new best friend!) on the backs of the head, legs and a bow and my son stuck them onto the white paint splodges (with a bit of guidance).

Next use a felt tip/permanent marker pen
to write “I Love Ewe Ma-Maa” or “I Love Ewe Grand-Maa” onto the cards……and there you go, you have some cute, funny mother’s day cards!!


Don’t forget to share any MAMA creations you make on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter and keep an eye out for another Mother’s Day Card idea coming soon.