If you have a baby or toddler that puts everything in their mouth, then you know how important it is for everything to be taste safe. Cian enjoys playing with paints, but puts his painted fingers in his mouth. An alternative is to use natural yoghurt with a drop of food colouring in. This is lots of fun, whilst providing opportunities for early mark making.


  • Muffin tray
  • Natural yoghurt
  • Food colouring


I scooped two tablespoons of yoghurt into bowls, then added a drop of food colouring to each. Then I put the coloured youghurt in a muffin tray. I left a couple of them as plain yoghurt.

I have learnt form experience that it’s best to do this activity in the bath. Not only does it give children a larger area to paint, it leads to a much easier clean up.

He enjoyed squelching the paint in the tin, then rubbing his hands together.

Cian started off quite tidily, only using the paint in the three circles closest to him to paint the space between his legs.

He then branched out to start painting the side of the bath yellow. Mark making on different surfaces is always a hit.

It’s worth noting that just because something is ‘taste safe’ doesn’t mean it necessarily tastes nice. Cian didn’t seem to like the yoghurt paint on first taste, but it didn’t stop him going back for more to make his mind up!

It got messy from this point on, but sensory play often does. I describe more about the different senses a post about multi-sensory scarf play. I have included the benefits of sensory play at the bottom of the post.

He then tried stamping in the paint. Just be careful at this stage, as it can be slippy in the bath.

The advantage of messy play in the bath, is that it’s quick to shower down and then just run the bath. Kicking and splashing are the perfect way to round of the sensory play.

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.


Shape, space and measures (16 to 20 months)

  • Enjoys filling and emptying containers.

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.