Articles Recommended Resources

Squish, Squash and Squeeze – from Alistair Bryce-Clegg

I am very proud and pleased to have a guest blog today.

I first met Alistair Bryce-Clegg when I asked him to come and ‘close’ our annual North West EYP Conference. He was amazing that day – and has been amazing our EYPs in the North West ever since! If you ever have the opportunity to hear Alistair at a Conference, I would strongly recommend you do so. Inspirational and irreverent in equal measure, and with loads of practical, cheap and useful ideas.

Which brings us to the blog. Alistair has very kindly shared this blog with me, which originally appeared on his site in February. You can find it here. He has also written a number of books, which you can find on Amazon or through your local independent book seller.

I hope you are as inspired as I was on reading these ideas. Enjoy!

Activity Ideas – Squish Squash and Squeeze

By Alistair Bryce-Clegg

It was meant to be a rare day off but it seems that the printing press waits for no man and I had to get my photoshoot sorted out for the next ’50 Fantastic Things’ book.

I have to say a HUGE thank you to Jo and all of the team at Penguins Pre-School in Timperley who were super organised and super helpful and made the shoot run like a dream.

Here are a few of the things that we did…



Mix some food colouring with water in a pot
Put 4 tablespoons of vegetable oil into the bottom of your plastic bag
Then add 4 tablespoons of coloured water
WAIT (and see what happens)
Add 4 tablespoons of golden syrup to the bag.
Zip up the bag and let the children squish.



I know that jelly is a regular favourite but it never fails to get great results. We tried putting jelly into various other containers of different sizes, ice cube trays, freezer bags and even a rubber glove, which made for a very squshy hand shake! In the pots of jelly, I asked Jo and the team to add other ‘items’ for the children to look at and fish out. These caused a great deal of interest.


You can use this idea in SO many ways. It works equally well on a large or small scale.


All you do is to cover a surface (in this case a table) with sticky backed plastic. MAKE SURE THE STICKY SIDE IS UP! You can secure it underneath the table with tape.

Then let the children stick various items onto it to make patterns. They are always fascinated by sticking their hands to it and feeling the resistance as they pull them away.


Dead easy and really effective…


Pink marshmallows in a bowl. Squirt of washing up liquid. Whizz in the microwave until they begin to melt. Cool a bit so as not to burn any fingers. That’s it!

If you use white marsh mallows you can add food colouring to change the colour of your slime.


Hours of fun… White bread, grated or crumbled into a bowl. Add PVA glue a teaspoonful at a time, mixing with your fingers. When the mixture becomes slightly tacky (not sticky), then it is ready. You can model with it and then leave it to air dry.

If you use flour and water paste instead of PVA you can leave your models out for the birds to eat!


The secret to this one is baby wipes!

Mix your gloop (or goop) as usual in a builders tray. Then paint it with food colouring. The best way to do this is to dip the corner of a baby wipe into the food colouring and then hold the clean bit.

That way you can dip and drag your wipe without getting stained fingers.

Once you have made your picture then play in it.


Cook as per the instructions. Add colour if you fancy it. Squish whilst warm!


Just soap flakes, water and a whisk!


What do you think this squashable landscape it made out of?


The answer is Vaseline! Scoop it out onto a glass plate or mirror then put it into the freezer over night. Take it out as you are about to use it. The Vaseline and the plate will have frosted over and stiffened up giving it a completely different texture.

If you want to make your Vaseline creation extra frosty then mist it with a water spray before you freeze it.

Hope that was a little bit of Thursday night inspiration! It was hard work, but great fun.


P.S. Don’t forget to check for food and skin allergies when you are doing any messy play!

Get FREE Access to Early Years TV

Sign up for Early Years TV Email Updates and we'll email you with details of each new episode, along with our regular email tips and strategies.

TrackBack URL for this entry:

You may also like
Early Years TV is here!
How Children Learn. Book 2 by Linda Pound
  • Thanks for finally writing about >Squish, Squash and Squeeze – from Alistair Bryce-Clegg
    <Liked it!

  • Penny Long Feb 3,2013 at 8:06 pm

    Very interesting and easy ideas, look forward to sharing these at our setting. Will report back.

  • Penny Webb Aug 30,2012 at 6:55 am

    The link in intro to Alister’s own site is not working Kathy – both links take you to Amazon

    • Kathy Aug 30,2012 at 9:49 am

      Thanks Penny – Gremlin in the works! Try it now, it should be working.
      If not, the URL is http://www.abcdoes.typepad.com. I think you’ll find loads of interesting things on his site.

  • Penny Webb Aug 30,2012 at 6:48 am

    Lovely ideas – ans some new ones to me – Vaseline who would have thought it.

    Thank you for sharing Alistair – and thank you Kathy for having Alistair as you guest blogger

    Off to check out his own site now

Leave Your Comment

Your Comment*

Your Name*
Your Webpage