Lentils: non-messy messy play

I love doing the things that Dustyfeet and I do together, but one of my issues is how messy it’s going to be. Especially permanent mess. Crayon on the wall, paint on the carpet, and permanently ink stained clothes do NOT make me happy.

Then again, I’d hate to deprive my child of having the freedom to make a lovely mess once in a while, and the other day I discovered the answer.


Dustyfeet wanted to get the jars out again. To add a new dimension, I gave her a little bottle of lentils to pour into them.

This soon translated into pouring them all onto the floor and spreading them around.

And from there it became a wonderful sensory activity. Dustyfeet discovered that dancing on lentils feels nice:

And a handful of lentils poured over one’s toes is blissful – she asked for it again and again!

Mummy’s toes had to be given the same treatment, of course. This was a little ticklish!

Then it was time to clean up some of the mess. We discovered that the lid of a jar (or anything with a flat edge – the back of a butter knife would work well) is remarkably effective for scraping all the lentils off the carpet and back into a heap:

Then it’s just a matter of scooping them up with a spoon – unless you want to try it with a pair of tongs (she found these a bit unwieldy – I must look out for a smaller pair):

Result? Clean carpet, happy mummy, happy babe. I think we’ll try lentil play with more lentils in a big bowl sometime. Dustyfeet was too busy spreading, pouring and dancing, but I found the feeling of burying your hands in lots of lentils very pleasant. Better than the sandpit, and a whole lot less messy!

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