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Messy projects your kids will love

What is it about a mess that is so irresistible to kids? We all have seen kids up to their elbows in paint, mud, bubbles, water, playdough and occasionally, dinner. We don’t seem to have the same urges they do, so what is it that drives them to splash, spill, slop and swirl when given the chance?

Freedom to play, use their creativity, and explore are all good reasons to let kids get messy from time to time. Allowing them the chance to get messy in a controlled setting might also control the number of times they decide to get creative with their pasta sauce or soup!

We went looking for some great ways to let your kids get messy – with your blessing, of course. These are great rainy day projects, or alternatively, consider letting them play outside so you can limit the mess indoors. Young children can make messes in their highchairs, or in the tub, with your close supervision.

Most of the following can be made in your kitchen with a few simple ingredients:

Bubble dough: mold it, cut it, let it drip – great sensory material

Summer snow: fluffy and icy cold, almost like the real thing

Soap clouds: who knew you could create THIS in your kitchen?

Frozen fun: especially great outside on a hot day

Sparkly snow playdough: this simple, sparkly dough will charm your little ones

Homemade flarp or gak: this slippery, sloppy putty is everything kids love

DIY playdough: this recipe has a secret ingredient – can you guess?

Homemade finger paints: easy peasy recipe for brightly coloured homemade paints

What else might your kids enjoy? Try paints, chalk, sidewalk chalk, or letting them play in the kitchen sink with water and bubbles. Anything that offers them a chance to get their hands dirty, to feel the paint or dough or other substance and to manipulate it in whatever way they choose.

Do your kids love to make a mess? What on this list would you try?

Writer, editor, recovering chocoholic. Most often found writing, drinking coffee, and chasing kids. Find her on Twitter @littlemissmocha.

2 Responses to “Messy projects your kids will love”

Sally Tuck

Hi Jen – that’s a lovely photo.
I wondered if it was yours and if it was may we (that is the Ballarat Toy Library) be able to use it to help raise awareness about our second annual Messy Play Day. We held it for the first time last year and we had soooo many little people arrive during children’s week here in Ballarat and they were having such fun getting messy (often for the first time with permission it seemed). It was also a really important boost of cash for us as we find it really easy to find money for toys but not for the rent – guess it’s not so ‘sexy’. Would you mind if we used it and therefore is it yours to allow use to do just that?



    Sorry for the delay in replying to you! You’re welcome to repost this blog if you give us credit 🙂 I’m worried we’re too late in replying though.

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