Leigh Messy Play

Baked Cotton Wool Balls!


So I’m a bit of a hoarder and just have loads of  ‘stuff’ knocking about in my house.  I was rummaging in a cupboard and a came across a massive bag of cotton wool so decided to do something with it.  I’ve used it before with clothes pegs as a painting/dabbing tool but needed something that used a fair bit so I could create more space to fill with different stuff!  I had a quick look on the internet and saw something about baking cotton wool so I just had to have a look.  Basically you cover the cotton wool in a flour and water batter and bake them.  Why on earth would you want to do that?  So I read on (dubiously)… apparently when baked they get a crispy outer shell but still retain their fluffy insides.  The idea is that the children develop their motor skills by using tools (or their hands) to break up the balls. The idea was starting to grown on me as I have quite a few boisterous toddlers at my classes who would love nothing more than to be bashing things with our blessing, so I gave them a go.

First of all I mixed equal parts of flour and water.

I used 1 cup of each and it was loads so maybe go a bit less.

Then I separated the mixture so I could add different food colours.

After that I dipped my cotton wool into the batter mixture.

I put them on a foiled baking tray and put them in the oven for about 45 minutes at about 150degrees.

Apparently the longer you bake them the harder they get but mine had started to burn a little so I decided that was long enough.

Once they’d cooled I had a bit of a play and I must admit they were really interesting things to play with (even for an adult).  They did have crispy shell but once you broke through that they were still soft inside.

Image may contain: food

When I took them to class I simply put them in a tray with some wooden tools (I didn’t have a suitable hammer) and encouraged then children to bash them!  My toddlers really enjoyed it, actually more so the strange textures once they’d broken into them, than the actual bashing.

Image may contain: 1 person, stripes and closeup  Image may contain: one or more people, stripes and closeup


Just look at that curious expression!








It was definitely worth a go as it prompted all sorts of conversations with some of my toddlers about dinosaur and monster eggs, so not only good for motor skills but imaginative play too!

I reckon they’d have great time making them as well, especially seeing the transformation from sticky cotton wool balls to hard shelled ‘dinosaur eggs’.

Let me know how it goes if you try it and if anyone’s got any ideas of what to do with lolly sticks please share because I must have a trillion of them knocking about!



Little Learners Wearside & Hartlepool

Wearside & Hartlepool

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *