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Things to Make and Do: Six Spring Messy Play Ideas

Date: February 22, 2014 Author: Bumpkins Team Categories: #TheBumpkinsDifference, Learning Through Play, Things to make and do

Messy play might not be everyone’s idea of a good time because, as the name suggests, it is inherently very messy! But toddlers and babies love it and it is great fun, once you get into the swing of it. It’s also fantastic for their cognitive development and developing those fine motor skills. Touching, feeling and exploring are all very important for learning.

Here are six fantastic ideas for spring messy play. Each are a different level of messy – from the almost clean to the exceptionally filthy.

Sensory Play Bags

If you don’t like getting really messy, or can’t risk the house becoming messy beyond repair, then sensory play bags are the ideal solution. You can fill them with anything and everything, and your Little One will love squishing and squelching away. These can provide hours of fun – especially if you add a touch of sparkle!

A Mud Party

http://www.growingajeweledrose.com/2012/06/play-in-mud-fun.html A rather apt messy play idea given the recent weather! If you have a reasonable sized garden and don’t mind your child becoming covered in mud then this would be a fantastic idea. It’s still too cold to be body painting with mud – but the muddy dinosaur world looks fun, and it would be a great excuse to wrap up warm and get out in the garden.



Goop is beautifully messy, but your Little One will love getting their hands stuck into this gloriously disgusting mixture! Made with mostly cornflour, it’s a wonderful way to explore texture and the science of cornflour.

Rainbow spaghetti


A cheap and fun messy play activity for your toddler (probably best not to do this one with babies as, I’m sure you’re aware, they have a tendency to put everything in their mouths). This develops their fine motor skills and promotes creativity and independence by letting them get on with it and mix colours.


Homemade playdough

There are some fantastic recipes for making playdough online. It’s such a versatile substance that Little Ones love. It can be made in lots of colours and lots of flavours, which means it’s the perfect play-thing for sensory and messy play. And, in the grand scheme of things, it’s not that messy really!


Hand and footprint painting

A messy play idea for babies and smaller toddlers that provides you with a beautiful keepsake afterwards. Babies love having their feet painted as it tickles and feels very different, and toddlers love getting their hands messy and covering everything in paint! A fun activity for a rainy day inside, or a nice day in the garden.

What messy play activities do you enjoy at home?

Read more Toddler Tips from Bumpkins Nursery