Freestyle Painting


We had some glorious weather over the Bank Holiday, despite the weather forecast promising us the usual washout, so we let Little Splodge out into the garden armed with a selection of messy play materials.

Out of pure curiosity, on my part, the play was in no way directed and she was allowed to play as she saw fit.

To begin with she was very reserved and she restricted her painting to the paper

painting on paper

The play did, as I suspected it would, get progressively messier and the paint quickly progressed from being paper based to being on paper, in the tuff spot, on her skin and on her clothes (luckily the clothes she was wearing are generally reserved for messy play as they are already stained from previous paint encounters.)

paint gets progressively messy

Little Splodge also took her glitter shakers outside and decided to use these to decorate her pictures.

She does have a tendency to get a little carried away with glitter and it ends up everywhere. This was no different and a number of her multicoloured paint pictures quickly turned into single colour glitter pictures.

blue glitter picture

Allowing Little Splodge to have undirected messy play allowed me to get an idea of where her concentration level is and what her abilities are in terms of making her own choices as well as skills such as mark making and hand eye co-ordination.

As it turns out Little Splodge is pretty good at controlling her brush and mark making until her concentration slipped about 20 minutes into the play when she started to grab the paint with her hands and splat it everywhere.

We will definitely be allowing Little Splodge to have more free style messy play in the future if only to act as a marker for her abilities and progression.

Messy Play Materials Used In This Activity

Tuff Spot
Sponge brushes
Bristle brushes


Cheesy Biscuits

Having entered the ‘if I see food I have to have it’ stage of pregnancy the time has come to progress from three meals a day to three meals plus copious numbers of snacks. Little Splodge is also a great believer in snacks and regularly has two snacks a day between meals.

So, when I saw this recipe it just had to be made. Not only is it very wallet friendly it is also very easy to make which made it perfect for involving Little Splodge.


  • 200g Plain Flour
  • 200g Butter
  • 200g Grated Mature Cheddar Cheese


  • Preheat the oven to 200 degrees / gas mark 6
  • Add all ingredients to a mixing bowl
  • Stir to combine
  • Bring together with hands to form a dough
  • Roll out to approx 0.5cm thick
  • Cut out biscuits
  • Place onto a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper
  • Bake for 10 minutes until golden brown
  • Leave to cool for a few minutes
  • Eat

This is not the first food she has had a hand in helping to make so I already knew that she enjoys giving things a good mix but I wasn’t sure how she’d react to rolling and cutting. (The majority of her playdough play results in manic squishing and attempting to eat it.)

Knowing that with the ‘help’ of a toddler this was going to take much longer than I would normally we set up a mini kitchen in the living room using Splodge’s art table as a work top and off she went.

I helped her get all of the ingredients into the bowl and she stirred them around for a while before I stepped in and helped bring it together to form a dough.

little splodge mixing ingredients

Next Little Splodge had a go at rolling out the dough with various degrees of success.

Once she’d finished poking and beating the dough with the rolling pin we finally got to cut out the shapes.

rolling out the dough

Our cookie cutter collection is small to say the least so the majority of the shapes are Christmas themed and the round ones were created by a glass that was helpfully sitting in the kitchen cupboard.

cut out shapes

Then it is simply a case of popping them in the oven for about 10 minutes. We baked the larger ones for 12 minutes just to be sure.

Don’t they look delicious?

cooling biscuits

Then came the final test for the biscuits. Would Little Splodge like them?

tasting the biscuits

That looks like a yes to me.

Credit where credit is due this recipe came from the lovely Kim over at The Triplet Diaries. My theory is if it’s good enough for triplet boys it’s good enough for our Little Splodge.

Patio Pictures


We finally had a day where the Great British summer blessed us with weather that was dry but not a million degrees with too much sun. (I don’t mean to complain about our recent heatwave but when you have hair as fair as Little Splodge’s too much sun can be a problem.)

We got out onto the patio with the giant chalks we’ve had since Christmas but no opportunity to use.

It was Little Splodge’s first experience with chalk and I can honestly say she loved it.

She wasn’t completely sure what to do with the chalks at first but it didn’t take much encouragement before she realised that she could use them to colour on the patio.

drawing stars

She’s still very much in the stage where things haven’t been properly investigated unless they have been tasted and so she was very quick to ensure that the chalk got a good lick. I didn’t join in to check but it seems the decision was that the blue chalk tasted the best … and she went back for several more licks throughout the colouring session.

tasting chalk

As is usually the case Little Splodge’s interest in the chalk quickly infected her daddy who was quick to embrace his artistic side and proved that he can draw flowers with the best of them … even if Little Splodge wasn’t too impressed by the pink and yellow colour scheme,

little splodge drawing with daddy

As the colouring progressed the chalks had to take more and more abuse from Little Splodge as she got more and more excited by the colours and especially once she realised that she could use the chalk to not only colour on the floor but also her clothes and, perhaps most excitingly, her skin. Eventually, despite their giant size our resident toddler managed to break the yellow chalk clean in half by exuberantly launching it across the patio.

Luckily, this didn’t phase her in the least and she carried on playing as though nothing had happened.

Even though the pictures on the floor were mainly created by mommy and daddy the giant chalks were an excellent opportunity for Little Splodge to practice her mark making and hand eye co-ordination as well as giving us a chance to talk with her about colours.

messy play for matilda mae


Splish Splash I Was Taking A Bath

Little Splodge has a bath pretty much every night.

I’d like to say it is a nice calming part of our evening routine that lulls her gently into a state of sleepiness ready for bed.

This is not the case.

Little Splodge is something of a water baby and enjoys nothing more than a good old splash about.

We do encourage a certain amount of play time in the bath and provide her with ample bath toys to help her learn about full and empty, cause and effect and other very important life skills that can only be taught by squirty turtles and colourful buckets.

Tonight, however, little splodge decided that her bath toys just didn’t cut it anymore and instead decided to give our calm and serene already chaotic, plastic octopus filled bath waves large enough that we probably registered as a tropical storm.

Obviously, as any good mother would I got a photo of it.

Bath Time Splashing

I would have got video but, in all honesty, I was too busy trying to avoid being completely soaked.