Have you taken a stroll through the deep dark wood yet? The Gruffalo is one of my favourite children’s books. My two year old loves it too! The beautiful illustrations, rhythmic story telling and exciting characters make it the perfect tale for toddlers. So why not keep the fun going after you close the book? Keep reading this post for instructions on how to create my Gruffalo inspired messy play activity!
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A Gruffalo inspired baking tray
If you love this famous Julia Donaldson book* as much as me, then you will know that the little brown mouse scares away all of the predators in the wood, by telling them that they are going to end up as someone else’s dinner! The Gruffalo apparently enjoys Roasted Fox, Scrambled Snake and Owl Ice Cream.
*At Home with Mrs Blake does not have, nor claim to own, the rights to any of ‘The Gruffalo’ imagery, logos or content. The Gruffalo is the property of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler and the official website can be found at www.gruffalo.com
We have been playing with a baking theme for a few weeks, so after reading the Gruffalo for the 3rd time that day, a combined deep dark wood baking tray seemed like the perfect messy play activity!
To make this activity even more special I decided it needed the real deal characters. You can download the Gruffalo Finger Puppets from the official Julia Donaldson website here. After printing, I then cut out each character, laminated them and attached each one to its own paper straw using cellotape. But you could use plastic or metal straws, velcro or glue! The laminated characters are great for messy play as you can remove the straw and cellotape and wipe them clean ready for another day!
Gruffalo Inspired FLASHCards
The cards are perfect for labelling your culinary master pieces and encouraging your toddler’s early literacy skills. For older children, I have also colour coordinated the borders of each flashcard so that they can match all of the characters with their story moments. For example, all of the orange cards are related to the fox – Roasted Fox, Underground House and Rocks.
Get ready to get messy
This a messy play activity so it’s important you are prepared for a bit of clean up. You can contain the mess by using a tuff tray, splash mat, taking it outside or playing at the table. Supervise your child so you can limit the mess as its happening and enjoy exploring the activity together.
How do you make the GRUFFALO meals?
So here’s what you have been waiting for. The perfect recipes for a Gruffalo inspired messy play baking tray.
Recipe for Gruffalo Crumble
- Malted wheat check cereal
Recipe for Roasted Fox
- 1 bag of lentils
- 1 bag of oats
Recipe for Owl Ice Cream
- Half a packet of cornflour
- Cold water
Recipe for Scrambled Snake
- 100g oats
- 400ml water
- Green food colouring
HOW DO I SERVE THE GRUFFlo crumble?
These were served up on a clean grey bath mat to add an element of small world play. The puppets lay hidden in the bath mat, just as they were hiding in the deep dark wood. We kept the story nearby and arranged each meal on the tray with a set of utensils. As we read the story, Joseph served up each of the meals and we found the flashcards for each character. It was a great fun messy play activity! We both enjoyed it!
Have a Gruffalo clean up
And the piste de resistance was debut screening of The Gruffalo movie which is about 25 minutes long and perfectly timed for a quick clean up. I simply wrapped my toddler in a towel and plonked him on a sofa with my phone to watch the movie, while I scooped up the mess. Then we headed out for a nice long walk and had our own adventure in the deep dark wood.
How will you play?
So that’s it! A magical Gruffalo inspired messy play activity to enjoy at home with your toddler. Will you try this fantastical feast? I would love to see photos if you do! Tag me @athomewithmrsblake in your posts and remember to share your creations in the AHWMB Community Group on Facebook too.