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Magnificent, messy mashers!

Make the most of mashers by allowing children to explore the creative opportunities these curious kitchen utensils can provide!

Posted on Thursday 13th June 2019

Making the most of mashers

These kitchen utensils make beautiful patterns as children engage in printing and painting. Mashers are a brilliant addition to painting and printing tools as they provide new creative possibilities and results which can’t be achieved with paint brushes and stamps.

Painting and printing with mashers not only produces different effects but equally different challenges. Using this resource for a large scale creative activity is perfect for younger children who are yet to develop their gross motor movements and control before they can move onto holding smaller tools, such as a paintbrush or pencil, with a pincer grip. This resource requires children to use rotation movements of the shoulder joint along with large arm muscles as they grasp the masher with their whole hand, pick up, lift and press the mashers.

There are so many mashers to choose from. All of different shapes, sizes and materials.

Discover the wonderful world of mashers by going on a hunt to see what you can find.

Magnificent, Messy Mashers for outdoor messy play

Who knew all of these different kinds of mashers even existed!?

Rich language opportunities

Make the most of this wonderful resource by embracing the opportunities for enriching children’s language as they explore, experiment and create. Discuss with the children the different patterns made by the mashers, model new and rich descriptive language, compare the different stamps created, match the stamps created with the mashers and use language to group the effects together.

Alice Sharp has been taking children on more wonderful adventures as they explored and experimented with the possibilities of all kinds of different types of mashers. Watch her Facebook videos here.

Magnificent, Messy Mashers!

Large scale art with mashers

They are perfect for large scale art, messy and creative play. What other resources can you think of that can act in a similar way?

Why not take large scale art outdoors? The freedom of space allows for children’s creativities to flourish as they are not constrained to small movements and not distracted by remembering to keep the paint contained to one small space. Using the outdoors is of course beneficial to children due to fresh air, the ability to be creative through large scale movements and the inspiration, wonderful and gentle stimulation of the natural world. The outdoors is equally a brilliant choice for creative and messy opportunities from a practical sense. If indoor space is limited, the outdoors can provide wider explorative and creative possibilities. It is also normal to be wary of the ‘mess’ which is inevitable in such creative play, so the outdoors allows for a more stress-free, unstructured and creative experience of messy, artistic play for both practitioners and children.

Rainbow Childminding have certainly been making the most of mashers in the sunshine as they extended their creative projects into their garden:


Trinity Preschool have been experimenting with different shaped and sized mashers during their large scale art indoors. They have created all kinds of beautiful stamps and prints:

Magnificent, Messy Mashers at Trinity Preschool

Share your creative ideas with us

How have you been using mashers in your setting? Share your wonderful ideas and activities with us by commenting and sharing your photos over on the post on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

With thanks to Angelica Celinska for writing this blog. Angelica has 10 years of experience working in the Early Years and Primary sector with a Masters in Early Years Education from the Institute of Education, University College London (UCL).