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!

My MAMA Journey Part 2: ‘Embracing the Mess!!!!’


After all of the Christmas and New Year MAMA fun I thought I’d share some more of my personal MAMA journey. This involved me being brave and learning to embrace the mess!

The first thing I think catapulted us onto our messy journey was not so much art based but food based! When my son was six months old the joy of weaning started and so did the inevitable mess that comes with helping them learn about new textures and tastes. Being a first time parent I had looked into the many ways of weaning and become thoroughly confused. There seemed to be a lot of benefits to all ways of doing this so I decided to try a bit of all of them and see what happened. My son then decided for me as it was obvious he preferred to be doing things himself! This led to quite a lot of mess but also a lot of enjoyment as it was fun to watch him laugh, pull funny faces, get messy and also eat a bit along the way!


This is where I learnt my MAMA preparation skills; I always made sure I had a mat on the floor to catch the escaped food, a full bib with arms for him and lots of wipes handy. I also had a variety of food types and textures for each meal for him to experiment with!

After finding that my son liked different textures and wasn’t afraid to get messy I went along with my mummy friends to some ‘messy play’ sessions. These trips out were good, not only socially but they also gave me tips and ideas on what I could then try at home.

The first session I went to was full of trays and bowls with different things for the children to play and get messy in such as sand, Cheerios in milk, play-dough, spaghetti and sauce and then there was an area with paints, brushes and bubble wrap – this is where my son spent most of his time and where I believe my interest in trying art based activities started!


Still wanting to do research prior to starting things at home I decided to look for a specific art based group to try things out a bit more. I was lucky to find a lovely art group for babies. We attended a few of these sessions which really consolidated that not only did my son enjoy the experimenting but so did I!


I also really enjoyed having art projects to bring back and put on our fridge/frame and display!


It was this new found realisation and confidence that led me to making our first Christmas cards (see MAMA Activity Post: Trimming the Tree’). And to be honest since then we haven’t looked back and if anything I’d say we’re getting messier!

Keep checking the blog for new MAMA Children’s Activity Posts, follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and share any of your MAMA projects with us!

My MAMA Journey Part 1

“They’re so tiny”


In the first few weeks after my son was born as well as being overwhelmed, exhausted, head over heels in love, sore and constantly hungry, I also became obsessed with his tiny hands and feet. I took hundreds of photos of them and couldn’t believe how tiny they were!

I desperately wanted to create the cute hand and footprints I’d spent hours looking online whilst waiting for his arrival, but I was nervous about damaging his precious skin. I also had a page in my baby milestone book which required hand and footprints and with every day he grew older I was irrationally and hormonally concerned this would be left empty.

Finally when he was 7 weeks old and I was just about getting to grips with the whole being a mum thing, I bit the bullet and drew around his hands and feet with a pencil!

Now I know this sounds super simple but I never realised how much newborn babies like to scrunch up their hands and how difficult it is to get them to relax. Due to this I abandoned his hands and started with his feet! I then ensured he was in a deep milk induced coma state and slowly unraveled his hands and drew round them very quickly so as not to wake him.

Success! I finally had something to put in my baby milestone book and whilst it was nothing grand and nothing to share on Facebook, it captured the size they were and I felt I had made the first step and could then move on to something a bit more daring!


So I ordered some special air drying clay which said it was suitable for newborns. After reading the instructions several times I was ready. With my prior knowledge of the hand clenching difficulties I waited till he was sleeping then began;

Step 1 – I rolled pieces of the clay to around 1cm think and placed the onto small boards (I used coasters).

Step 2 – I wiped his hands and feet clean.

Step 3 – I gently (too gently the first time as no print was left!) pushed his hands and feet into the clay to make the imprints.

Step 4 – I left the imprints to dry and harden

Now the instructions said once hardened you could use acrylic paints on them but to me they were perfect as they were and I was so proud of them they are framed and up on our living room wall.


So the start to my MAMA journey was simple, but special and looking back even though the final products were not Pinterest worthy, they meant the world to me and still do which is what really matters!