Saturday, 5 October 2013

Messy Construction with sugar cubes and icing

Today I'm delighted to welcome a guest post from Jen, who blogs at Smiles and Trials. Jen loves trying out different messy play activities with her children, and she's sharing the fun that they had with some messy and sticky construction play.

A while ago, thanks to inspiration from Jennie, I purchased a Tuff spot and The Little Book of Tuff Spot Activities to go with it.  When they arrived, almost simultaneously, I flicked through the book and was immediately drawn to the page that showed how to make a beautiful wintry ice scene using sugar cubes.  You could even build an igloo! 


Messy construction play with sugar cubes and water icing

Now, this was back in March and I have often considered the activity since then but never got round to it. However, this all changed today.

Today, I let my children loose with two boxes of sugar cubes and a packet of fondant icing! 
I provided them with bowls and spoons and invited them to scoop the powdery icing sugar into their bowls.
Messy construction play with sugar cubes and water icing

They oohed and aahed at the consistency.

“It is so fluffy!” remarked Sonny.

They then added water and stirred until what they had somewhat resembled “gloopy glue”, as Jasmine calls it.

Next, I asked them to open up their boxes of sugar cubes.  At this stage, I hadn’t told them the plan.  They did not realise that I intended them to build structures with these materials.  I wanted to see how their minds would work and what they would think when presented with, essentially, two forms of sugar.  Would they see it like this and be confused?  

Messy construction play with sugar cubes and water icing

At first, Sonny thought we may be baking.   Jasmine commented that the “glue” smelled of cake mix.  I gave them a glue spreader and they sat quietly looking at their cubes of sugar.  Then Sonny said, “I will make a tower!” and suddenly they got it. Sonny quietly concentrated on his tower whilst Jasmine contemplated building a house, or even an igloo “where bears and people live”.

Messy construction play with sugar cubes and water icing

Messy construction play with sugar cubes and water icing

I couldn’t resist getting involved and tried to build a wall. 

Messy construction play with sugar cubes and water icing

We also attempted to add “bricks” to the side of Sonny’s tower with the view to creating a bridge, perhaps for his trains to chuff through.

Messy construction play with sugar cubes and water icing

Unfortunately, this didn’t quite go to plan and the bricks quickly and quietly slipped off. It is at this point that I believe my children learned the phrase “Silly old gravity”.

Soon, the construction process dissolved into general anarchy with water being poured and sloshed between jug and bowls and “gloopy glue” quickly turning into sugary mess; Sonny sat in the tray (and in a large puddle) and the boxes of sugar cubes were entirely emptied into one huge, snowy pile. Jasmine caught me looking and said, oh so sagely, “This is messy and we’re playing; it’s everything messy play should be.”

She is entirely right, of course.

Messy construction play with sugar cubes and water icing

What a brilliant idea, this looks like so much fun and I know that mine would love it! Thanks to Jen, you can visit her fantastic blog Smiles and Trials, for lots more creative play ideas.

2 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. It looks like such a lot of fun doesn't it, we'll definitely be trying it out!

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