MAMA Children’s Activity Post; Process Art Rainbows & Rainbow Handprint Butterflies!

One of  the play prompts for #march_play was ‘rainbow’. I’d been really looking forward to this as I love rainbows and how vibrant the colours are. I’d seen quite a few accounts doing “scrape painting” and wanted to give this a try with a rainbow twist! 

The equipment needed was;

  • Painting area – tuff tray/activity mat.
  • Painting clothes or aprons.
  • Strips of white card.
  • Window scrapers (like you have for your car).
  • Rainbow colour paints (water based, non toxic). 
  • Felt tip pens in rainbow colours.
  • Flips chart paper/large paper.
  • Wipes.

I set this activity up on our tuff tray I put two strips of card at the bottom as our practice strips then the others in the shape of a rainbow. 


Onto the card I wrote the names of the colours in their associated colour or put dots of colour as prompts for where my son should aim the paint. He then squeezed a blob of paint onto these prompts to ensure there were in the right order. My son LOVES squeezing paint so it was quite tricky to get him to not squeeze too much – the promise of BIG squeezes later seemed to work!! 

Once the paint was in line I positioned the window scraper and explained what he had to do. I did it with him for the first little bit but then he insisted he could do it by himself, and actually he could! The rainbow colours looked gorgeous!!! He then moved on and did the same all the way round the rainbow. 

After he had finished we were left with a beautiful rainbow!!!

After this he wanted to paint more with the window scrapers so I moved our rainbow paintings and put down some big flip chart paper and said he could experiment however he wanted to. He chose to squeeze out a lot of paint and then scrap it all over the tuff tray. He named all the colours as he squeezed them out.


He made some lovely patterns and had a lot of fun mixing everything together into a big brown mess!!! Of course hands and feet got involved too! I love just letting him explore and have fun I think it really let’s him learn and create independently which is so lovely to see.

The rainbow paintings he made were gorgeous and so I think I am going to frame bits of them and with the practice strips we went on and did another activity; ‘Rainbow Handprint Butterflies’. The equipment needs to make these was;

  • Making area – tuff tray/activity Mat.
  • Rainbow paintings.
  • Scissors.
  • Pen/pencil.
  • Card.
  • Large lolly pop stick/tongue depressor.
  • Paint sticks/paint.
  • Pipe cleaners.
  • Double sided sticky tape.

I drew around my son and little girls’ hands on some card to make templates. I then cut out the handprints from the rainbow paintings we had made. Two of my son’s and two of my daughters for each butterfly. 

I put double sided sticky tape on the handprints and my son helped to stick these onto the tongue depressor ‘bodies’. We then stuck on pipe cleaner antennae and my son painted the bodies of the butterflies with his new paint sticks! 


Lastly we stuck on some googley eyes and our gorgeous rainbow handprint butterflies were complete! 


I totally love a handprint craft as to me they are memories for us to keep. I liked this activity especially as it was our process art creations that formed the basis of the handprints and my son helped to make and finish decorating the butterflies rather than me just making them on my own. Why don’t you have a go at making handprint butterflies from your messy art creations!!! 

I m now co-hosting #april_play on Instagram so please follow our new play prompts and these wonderful accounts for even more creative ideas!!! 

MAMA Children’s Activity Post: “Goldilocks & the Three Bears! (#MARCH_PLAY)

I’m currently co-hosting #march_play on Instagram with a bunch of lovely other accounts;


Each day we have a play prompt to guide our activities. My favourite so far has been ‘fairytales’. When looking at this prompt it dawned on me that I hadn’t really read any traditional fairytales with my son as we mainly read the newer ‘Gruffalo style’ books. I therefore saw this as an opportunity to share one of my favourite fairytales with him; ‘Goldilocks and the Three Bears’. In the morning I told him the story and we then watched an animated version. He really got into the whole “Who’s eaten my porridge?” and the concept of different sizes.

In the afternoon I set up an invitation to play based on the story. Here is the equipment I set out;

  • Tuff tray (could use activity mat).
  • Painting clothes (I now use an old puddle suit which is great!!)
  • Different sized card strips (width = small, medium, large).
  • Paw print stamps – small and medium were potato stamps I had cut out, the large one was a gravy granules pot with three corks strapped to it with hairbands (a rare moment of genius for me!)
  • Brown, red, yellow and blue paint (water based, non toxic).
  • Paper plate.
  • Paint brushes.
  • PVA glue.
  • Card cut outs of different sized bears.
  • Cotton wool/Pom Poms/tissue paper to collage with.
  • Three different sized bowls with matching spoons.
  • Porridge oats.
  • Lolly pop sticks (added later for mixing).
  • I’d also found some cuddley toys which played out the story we went through earlier (I moved these before we got messy though!)


The first thing my son wanted to explore were the bear prints! Whenever we’re out and about he’s always looking for “tracks to follow” and the thought of making his own seemed to really excite him. He squirted out the paint himself and painted onto the bottom of the stamps.

I helped with the first print to show him how you have to push downwards firmly. After this he was away and went through the Daddy bear, Mummy bear and Baby bear footprints very quickly!

Then it was the porridge he was interested in. I reminded him of the porridge in the story and we went through how; Daddy bear’s was ‘too hot’ and a hot colour is red, so we mixed the red paint into his porridge in the big bowl.

We then moved onto Mummy bear’s porridge, in the medium sized bowl, which was ‘too cold’ and mixed the blue paint in with that. Finally, baby bear’s porridge in the small bowl was ‘just right’ and I felt yellow would suffice for this!

Once we’d mixed up our ‘porridge paint’ we added some PVA glue to each bowl to make it ‘sticky porridge paint!’ My son then experimented with painting the bear’s, pouring the porridge paint everywhere, mixing it with his hands and doing a bit of collage. Mainly he was interested in making mess which is the whole point with messy, arty, sensory activities!!!

After this he went back to the idea of paw prints and wanted to make his own! So we got the brown paint back and he did some footprints on a piece of card to go with the bear prints!

Inevitably this activity was quite messy requiring a deep clean in the tub afterwards! This play prompt had lots of different levels and it was lovely to take the theme throughout the whole day and include sharing some of my childhood memories with my son. Why don’t you have a go too with your favourite fairytale!


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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!

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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; “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!

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MAMA Children’s Activity Post; “Muddy Puddles”


One of my son’s favourite things to do is to jump in muddy puddles…….an activity a certain little pig may have introduced him too! At least he knows he must always wear his boots and insists that I do too!

So whilst spending the afternoon jumping in muddy puddles I started to think if we could introduce muddy puddles into our MAMA activity afternoons (in case it was too rainy to go outside even if we were wearing our rain gear!).


For the painting bit;

– Plastic activity mat (for table/floor).
– Second activity mat/old towel for floor if you do this at the table.
– Different pots (to mix your muddy puddles in).
– Different coloured paints (non toxic, water based): I used the paint bottles that all had a little bit of paint left in as squeezing the paint out is part of the fun for this activity.
– Pots/jugs of water.
– Paint brushes/sponges to mix and paint with.
– Paper/card.
– Camera: this activity is good to take photos of whilst your child is doing it as you make some patterns which can be lost when the muddy puddles dry.
– Old clothes/aprons for you and your child.
– LOTS of wipes.

For Decoration Bit;
– Stickers.
– Permanent marker pens/felt tips.

Step 1: Preparation.


Set up your table/floor by covering the area with your plastic activity mat (plus second activity mat/old towel on floor if you do this up the table). Put all your paint bottles, pots, water, brushes and sponges out on table. Ensure you and your child are in aprons or old clothes as I’m not going to lie this gets messy (but is ALOT of fun)!!

Step 2: Mixing muddy puddles!


My son loves squeezing the paint out so I asked him to choose a colour and then let him squeeze it into one of the pots, we then poured water into it and mixed it up with the brushes. Other colours were then added as he chose them (this is good for colour recognition practice)! We then did this in several pots so we had lots of muddy puddles! My son really enjoyed this part, there is something about pouring and mixing things that he loves and the freedom to chose and squeeze the paints added to the fun! Do not worry about how the muddy puddles look this activity is really about playing and getting messy rather than the final product.

Step 3: Splashing around in muddy puddles!


The next stage in this MAMA activity involved pouring the puddles onto paper/card and then making patterns by lifting the paper up and watching the puddles run down the paper, mixing the puddles with brushes and of course causing splashes in the puddles with our hands! At this stage I took photos of him experimenting which came out really nicely as they were vibrant and still wet so they looked like puddles. My son played with his puddles and mixed new ones for a good hour, the longest he’s been engaged in an activity!


Step 4: Tidy tidy tidy up!
Some of the paper/card was VERY saturated so I did not keep these but a few with nice muddy puddle splodges on I put aside for later. I then put the painting pots and brushes in to soak whilst I wiped down the excess mess and then put my son in the bath- this in itself then made another muddy puddle!! I then finished cleaning all the equipment when he was finally tucked up in bed.

Step 5: Sticker time!


My son loves stickers and so thought we could finish off this activity by decorating our muddy puddles with stickers of his favourite characters!


Hope you enjoyed getting messy don’t forget to share any of your MAMA adventures we’d love to hear from you! You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!