Do you need a new messy play idea? Then this post is for you! I have been playing around with the Moon Sand recipe and I came up with this new idea. Taste-safe ‘Play Soil’ and ‘Spaghetti Worms’! It’s perfect for a garden or farm themed tuff tray, small-world play, and developing those fine motor skills! So grab your bucket and spade and get ready for a whole new messy play experience.
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What is play soil?
You may have seen the popular messy play recipe for Moon Sand doing the rounds on social media. Moon Sand is a taste-safe play material made from flour and vegetable oil. Combining these two ingredients together makes a great sand consistency that is perfect for moulding and digging.
After a few garden themed play setups, I happened to be making some rainbow spaghetti and suddenly, I had a eureka moment! The pink spaghetti looked just like worms! So I decided to play about in the kitchen and find a substitute for the soil. The Play Soil is based on the Moon Sand recipe but with added extras to make it a darker colour and to make it smell even better! So not only is my Play Soil perfect for messy play, it is also great for teaching your child about their senses.
How to make play soil
So how do you make play soil? It is a combination of flour, vegetable oil, cocoa powder and ground cinnamon. These ingredients smell fantastic, produce the same mouldable consistency as Moon Sand and most importantly they produce a dark brown colour which looks just like real soil!
the recipe for Play Soil
Here’s the recipe! Save this blog post now so that you have the recipe below for whenever you are ready to make your own batch of Play Soil. Keep reading if you want to discover how to make your own Spaghetti Worms and make your most exciting messy play setup yet!
taste-safe ‘Play soil’ recipe
- 2kg plain flour
- 100g cocoa powder
- 1 tbsp of ground cinnamon
- 400ml vegetable oil
- Carefully weigh out your dry ingredients and combine them in an extra large mixing bowl.
- Slowly add in the oil with a spoon until the dry ingredients appear to have absorbed the moisture.
- Use your hands to continue mixing the ingredients. Ensure all of the flour at the bottom of the bowl is thoroughly mixed in so that there are no white lumps.
- Keep rubbing the mixture between your fingers until you get a breadcrumb-like consistency.
- The Play Soil will be ready when the mixture can be clumped together in your hand and holds it’s shape.
How to set up your Play Soil activity
There are so many ways you could use your Play Soil, but I like to set up messy play invitations on the tuff tray. My son loves the book ‘Super Worm’ by Julia Donaldson so that had to be included in our first Play Soil setup. We also added in some fake ivy, farm vehicles and gardening tools. To add another natural element to the play, I took my son for a walk to collect rocks from the garden. I washed the rocks and added these into our garden tuff tray too.
This setup provided lots of textures to explore as well as opportunities for fine motor skill practice. I am also planning to paint some bugs onto the rocks after we have finished playing. We will add them to the local rock bug colony on our village green. A bug themed rock colony is another great way to learn about bugs, insects and garden life. And don’t forget to make a big batch of Spaghetti Worms for your messy play setup! You can find the recipe below.
As you can see, we don’t always keep our messy play indoors. Summer is the perfect time of year for outdoor fun. So why not take your Play Soil out into the garden. This alternative play invitation included cereal, farm animals and vehicles for a different way to explore the soil.
Make sure you save this blog post so you have the recipes handy. Here is everything you need to know for making your own batch of Spaghetti Worms!
How to make Spaghetti Worms
- Pink Gel Food Colouring
- Boiling Water
- Cold Water
- Make the spaghetti by following the packet instructions.
- Drain the spaghetti through a colander and then return it to the saucepan.
- Add a big squirt of pink gel food colouring.
- Mix thoroughly with a fork until the spaghetti is well coated in pink colouring.
- Rinse the now pink spaghetti with cold water to set the colour.
I kept mine in the fridge overnight and the cold spaghetti worms were great in the morning!
Ways to play with Spaghetti Worms
Now it’s time to play! Why not bury your worms in the Play Soil so your toddler can dig them up again? They could even try feeding their Spaghetti Worms to a toy bird or hedgehog.
The Spaghetti Worms also make a great play material for practicing cutting and threading too. We also used our pink spaghetti in a Valentine’s day play tray in February. I cut pink washing up sponges into heart shapes and laid them in the spaghetti along with some tongs for fine motor skill work. To make it extra special, I added a sprinkling of edible glitter and cupcake sprinkles. So try to be creative and see where it takes you!
What will you do with your Play Soil and Spaghetti Worms?
Will you try this messy play tuff tray? Tag me in your photos @athomewithmrsblake because I would LOVE to see your play set up! And remember to join our community group on Facebook for even more play inspiration.