Another taste safe messy play idea. I recommend doing it in the bath for a quick and easy clean uo.


  • Squirty cream
  • Food colouring
  • Comb


Spray the cream in to the shape of a rainbow, then fill the channels between with drops of food colouring.

Even though Cian loves messy play, he is often cautious at the start of a new messy play activity. That is why I provided a comb. He was able to poke and scrape at the rainbow with that, before taking the plunge and using his hand.

Whilst using the comb, Cian accidentally got some of the cream on his hand. He tasted it and decided it was ‘safe’ to put his fingers in.

Once Cian had discovered that he could make a rainbow trail with his fingers, he launched in with both hands. He painted the side of the bath and made large circles in unison with his palms.

Next, he started moving his hands separately, scraping his left hand up and down and turning it over to use the back of his hands.

This is when I’m glad we are doing this activity in the bath.

DfES Outcomes for EYFS (2013)

Physical Development

Moving and handling (8 to 20 months)

  • Enjoys the sensory experience of making marks in damp sand, paste or paint.

Understanding the world

The world (16 to 26 months)

  • Explores objects by linking together different approaches: shaking, hitting, looking, feeling, tasting, mouthing, pulling, turning and poking.

Expressive arts and design

Exploring and using media and materials (8 to 20 months)

  • Explores and experiments with a range of media through sensory exploration, and using whole body.