Inspired by Halloween I thought what better idea than to create an invitation to play for magic potions this week. My little miss 3 loves mixing, stirring and making things so I knew the magic potion station would be a winner!

My Husband discovered this activity by accident when creating pretend baby food with our daughter (another of her favourite activities). He wanted to get a good fizzing and foaming going, but didn’t have any vinegar.

We discovered that when you combine Cream of Tartar, baking powder, water and dishwashing detergent and stir it fast it creates a really cool foaming effect. It just keeps slowly rising and eventually spilling over the container. It was a lot of fun discovering the results. Unlike the effects of baking soda and vinegar which creates a fast fizzing and bubbling reaction this one is much gentler but still very satisfying to watch, and even a little creepy; perfect for Halloween!

Invitation to play – magic potions


Materials you will need:

Cream of Tartar

Baking Powder

Dishwashing detergent


An assortment of objects and containers to mix your potions in

A tray to catch the over flow

Food colouring


Tips on creating a magic potion invitation to play

Setting up the invitation to play the night before works best for me as my Miss 3 loves my full attention in the morning. By setting her up with an invitation table, I can organise breakfast and sort out my baby’s needs at the same time.

Reading a book about magic or Halloween before doing the activity is a great way to create a discussion and adds to the environment of their pretend play. Me and my Miss 3 love the Meg and Mog series.

To set up the magic potion invitation I simply put everything out on the kitchen bench and let Miss 3 explore. It’s wise to have a catching tray as this activity can get messy. For a great overflow result add a good dollop of dish washing detergent and a few good tablespoon’s of baking powder and Cream of Tartar, with a small amount of water.

I control the amount of water by supplying just a small jug of it. If your kids are anything like mine, they’ll just pour the whole contents of water in. Once they start stirring the overflowing magic happens.

Occasionally I give her prompts about adding more detergent, baking power or Cream of Tartar. It doesn’t really matter what order the ingredients go in as long and they get a good stir together.

Miss 3 was very excited watching all the foaming overflow and loved adding different coloured food colouring to see what would happen (we ended up with green slime!).

potion magic

Our kids are learning and developing…

Cognitive – This form of invitation to play allows children to develop their inventiveness and creativity. When given the opportunity to explore different materials without limits a child is given the freedom to take risks and discover how different materials reacted to each other in the world. When kids are given opportunities like this they are starting to develop a sense of innovation that will be important in their adult lives.

Communication – When your child is exploring all the different ways each item reacts to one another they discuss what is happening to the people around them. This leads to new words being discovered and vocabulary building. Children will often create stories or narrate to themselves about what they are doing.

Physical skills – Practising fine motor skills helps small children perform everyday skills like cutting, self care tasks and pencil skills. Small children practise their fine motor skills by using the small muscles in their hands to pour, and stir.

5 1 vote
Article Rating

This information was compiled by the Kiwi Families team.

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x