Baby Play: Jelly Tuff Spot

Shortly after Matilda Mae died

My friend Lucy came to visit

With her baby boy


Born just days after Tilda

And her only real friend

When they came

We had our Tuff Spot out

And in it we had jelly

Jelly Mega Bloks

And plastic snakes

It was a really simple but successful messy play

That worked for Baby Samuel

And my teeny tiny two year olds too


I bought some really small, soft and brightly coloured snakes from Amazon. They were very light and so floated in the jelly. I also added some heavier, duller, rubber snakes that sank to the bottom of the jelly slime.

To make the slime I used lime and orange jelly. I did not add any glitter or inedible ingredients as I knew that at least a little of the jelly would end up in Baby Samuel’s tummy.

And I was right! He really liked eating it. Which made me smile with a heavy heart, as I know that Baby Tilda would have been exactly the same. They would have had such fun together today.


Esther and William were very excited about playing with jelly. And they literally squealed with excitement when they saw the snakes suspended inside. They could not wait to set the snakes free.

They plunged their hands straight into the cold jelly and pulled the wriggly, sticky snakes out.

It was wonderful to watch and also to see the shapes left in the jelly by the snakes. The hollows or imprints made it look like there might be another snake still lurking inside. i think this fascinated me more than it did the twins. They just loved smashing the jellies and finding the snakes.


Esther and William adore sensory play, the messier the better. Today they loved getting the jelly inbetween their fingers and their toes. They like it when their play material is scented and all the better if it is edible too! Today the jelly was sticky but also slippery. Seeing Samuel try to stand on the jelly covered Tuff Spot was wonderful and so so funny. I was laughing at Samuel and also fondly thinking of Matilda’s laugh as I know her infectious giggle would have been sounding out loud as she sat and covered herself in jelly and enjoyed trying to stand on the slippery stuff. She would have had a wonderful time, just as Samuel did today. As we all did.


The snakes in the jelly were a great addition to this play. Esther and William had as much fun with the snakes as they did with the jelly. They were stretching them and pinging them around. Wrapping them around different body parts. Pushing them into the jelly and pulling them out again. The bright colourful snakes were definitely a hit and will definitely feature in our play again soon.


Pulling snakes out of jelly is not only great fun it develops fine motor skills but putting jelly in a Tuff Spot also provides opportunities to use gross motor skills as you have to try very hard to balance and stay standing and not fall over. It is also possible to almost skate and slide around the Tuff Spot. All three children found this experience and sensation very funny. It was genuinely hilarious to watch.

Esther and William really seemed to like having Baby Samuel in the Tuff Spot with them which is lovely as his mummy is a dear friend but also makes me miss Tilda so much as it really should be her in there with her siblings. What a fabulous friendship they would have. What magical memories they would be making. We would be making. Together.


Because of this very special play date

I knew that when it was time to introduce Edie

To messy play

It would be with jelly

I was delighted to find some sparkly pink jelly

To which I added some Happyland fairies

jelly bowl

(Don’t worry a snake swamp is coming up next!)

I made up the jelly

In a small bowl to begin with

And let Edie explore

edie first jelly

She was quite unsure at first

She looked utterly delighted

But hesitated

As though she could not believe this was for her

jelly time

She examined the fairies closely first

Before dipping her fingers into the jelly

jelly play

First she dipped

Then she plunged

jelly play

And then she was ready to play

play jelly

Edie used all her senses playing with the jelly

She felt the jelly with her hands

And once the jelly was poured into the tuff spot

She felt the jelly on her legs and feet too

She was completely covered by the end of her play

jelly feet

Edie listened to the sounds of the jelly

As it dripped through her fingers

And squelched in her hands

jelly time

Edie tasted the jelly

This ooey gooey icky sticky play stuff

Is, of course, food

jelly tasting

Edie had a wonderful time

Playing alone and with her siblings

It was very funny watching her

Slipping and sliding around the tuff spot

Soaking up the jelly

jelly fun

It was wonderful watching her explore the jelly with all her senses

senses jelly

“ In order to grow and learn, the human brain needs to be stimulated by sensory experiences that take place within a rich and varied environment … a child needs to see, touch, hear, taste and smell, to play, explore and experiment … ” Vea Vecchi (1998) Reggio Children

Regular readers of Edspire will know

That we adore messy play

The messier the better

It is something we have encouraged at home

With all our children

From a very early age

It is something we do in memory of Tilda

Our Messy Play for Matilda Mae

Messy and sensory play is fun

It is also creative and calming

Engaging and immersive

It can take little minds off bigger things

We often use our tuff spot

When we are in a tough spot

There are many reasons to let your children engage in messy play

Many reasons for parents and carers to join in

And get their hands dirty too

Here are just a few of them

Children use their imaginations to invent, concoct and create

Children talk about what they are doing and develop their vocabulary

Children can make plans

Children learn to find solutions to problems

Children learn to communicate, negotiate and collaborate

Children build up their immune systems by getting dirty and being outside

Children can learn about cause and effect

Children develop fine and gross motor skills

Children have fun and satisfy their sense of fascination, awe, wonder and curiosity

awe and wonder

For babies

It is all about exploration

Using their senses to make sense of a new experience

Helping them to piece together their world

Play is the work of a child

And is so valuable from birth

Sensory play

Messy play

Active play



It is all so important

In helping our babies learn

And develop

Strengthening our bonds

As we play together

There is nothing I love more

Than joining my children in their play

The messier the better

messy jelly

We have lots more messy play coming up on the blog

For babies, toddlers and beyond

We hope that we might inspire you to come and play too

messy happy

Here are some more pictures of Edie

Our busy baby

Happy in her play

edie play

happy jelly

jelly toes

jelly fun

fun jelly

jelly play

Do please let us know

If you give this a try x

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