Yesterday my kids decided to make some Witches Potions. This isn’t an activity which I thought up and set out for them, rather it’s one of their favourite games and they tolerated me intruding to take a few photos. They love to get messy, experiment by pouring one colour into another and make up creative stories and games that go along with the potions they are concocting. The ingredients used are all items that have been raided from my pantry and art supply basket, and the vials used to mix them in are my good drinking glasses from the kitchen cupboard. As a parent one of the things I’ve learned is that sometimes the best activities are ones that I’ve had no say in, that messes are easily cleaned and often the memories and experiences gained are well worth the effort. The bright colours in the afternoon sun are mesmerising even to me, and I can imagine that if I was their age I’d be loving it just as much as they were.
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You could easily set up a Witch’s Potion lab in your own backyard (I wouldn’t recommend doing this one indoors). It would be a fabulous sensory play idea for Halloween, or any time of year really. In the past we’ve made a bubbling Witch’s brew using vinegar and baking soda, but this one uses detergent to create the bubbles so it’s a little bit different. Feel free to add all manner of ingredients, but for a start here is what my girls have used.
You Will Need:
• Jugs of water
• Liquid hand soap, dish detergent or bubble bath to create bubbles
• Liquid watercolours – alternatively you can use food colouring but be aware that it can stain hands and clothes
• Clear cups, containers or jars for mixing – ours are glass but for younger kids plastic is safer
• Spoons for stirring
• Optional plastic pipettes to avoid wastage of your paint – a little bit goes a long way with liquid watercolours (you can see we haven’t used them though)
• Also recommended is a plastic tablecloth to protect the table but my kids just worked on a wooden step out the back or our house
Set out all of the above items and let the kids experiment however they like. They will love pouring the liquids, sprinkling the salt and squirting in the detergent. Adding salt seems to reduce the liquid’s capacity for sustaining bubbles, which is interesting to see. Colouring the bubbles with more liquid watercolours makes them extra pretty!
Once the potions are finished my girls like to store them in plastic containers for a few days. They use them in games of magic and witches until it’s time to throw them away.
The girls know that if they want to play this game they need to put all of the things away afterwards, so there wasn’t even that much for me to clean up this time around.
Do you know a kid who likes to get messy?
More messy play ideas:
• Play with dinosaurs in sticky mud
• Scoop and pour play using dried soup mix
• Have fun with frozen flower ice cubes and salt
• Make a mermaid play pond small world
• Put some dinosaurs in jelly
• Have some creative fun with coloured pasta
• Make a bubbling witch’s brew
There are also LOTS more ideas on our messy fun board on Pinterest