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?