On Sunday it was so sunny and warm that we spent the whole afternoon in the garden. I was probably most excited about being able to hang the washing outside, but the children enjoyed the chance to play with all their garden toys, and to swing, climb and ride their bikes and scooters. It was also a good opportunity to take our messy play outside, using the Tuff Spot and our empty plastic sand pit.
I started by filling the sand pit with the leftover rice and split peas which I had been saving since before we went on holiday. I added playmobil people and some stones and shells which the children had been using to set up a miniature camp. In the Tuff Spot I placed a tray of flour, also saved from a previous play session, and surrounded it with shaving foam. The children had fun helping me to spray the foam, and enjoyed watching the shapes it made as it came out. Rabbit, Monkey and I had a go at writing in the foam, which was fun, but we couldn’t do it for very long because Tiddler was impatient to get stuck in.
Soon the three of them had taken all their clothes off and were in and out of the Tuff Spot and the sand pit, and covered in an interesting mixture of shaving foam and rice. Owl didn’t want to get right in but enjoyed playing with the rice from the edge and then standing in it. What he really wanted to do was get into the paddling pool, but the others were so messy that I decided we needed an intermediate stage of washing first. I got out the three flexible plastic tubs I recently bought for messy play (I wish we had four, but there were only three in the shop at the time) and filled them with warm water. Tiddler easily got right inside his tub, and Rabbit squeezed into hers. Not to be outdone, Monkey just about managed to get into his, but it was rather a tight fit. Owl was quite jealous – I really must find another one – but was pleased to be able to play in the rice quietly without the others, and asked me to help him bury his feet in it.
The children then had fun pretending the three tubs were the carriages of a train, and Owl was the driver. We soon added our train-shaped paddling pool and filled it up, and they spent the rest of the afternoon splashing in and out of it in the sunshine. They also enjoyed mixing the rice, split peas, flour and shaving foam into one big sticky mess, though I was glad that they didn’t actually get in it as by this point it was rather late in the day. It was a really good fun afternoon of play, and we’ll definitely be getting the shaving foam out again, especially now we can do it in the garden.