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Top 5 Messy Play Activities

Top 5 Messy Play Activities

Messy play is made up of mud, sand, dirt, leaves, goop, foam, paint, water, and grass.  Whipping up a mess is fun. Here are the top 5 messy play ideas to spark your kid's imagination.

Top 5 Messy Play Activities

In this blog we talk about our top 5 messy play activities. Messy play is made up of mud, sand, dirt, leaves, goop, foam, paint, water, and grass.  Whipping up a mess is fun. It is also beneficial to your child's growth. It strengthens their senses, improves their hand-eye coordination, and helps them build fine motor skills. The sensory play focuses on stimulating touch, sight, and hearing as those senses are most accessible. Here are the top 5 messy play ideas to spark your kid's imagination.


A giant tangible bin will help keep the grass, toys and fun contained and let your little one dump, toss, and play the entire day!
Sensory Bin

Materials List

Plastic Tub
Leaves, Rocks and Sand
You can put pretty much anything into the sensory bin. The sensory bin will help your child explore using their senses.


This one is a fun slime that is great for babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers. It is safe for little ones to explore and even taste without having to worry about nasties. And playing with it is addictive for you too!

Chia seed slime directions

Add 2 tablespoons of chia seeds to 1 cup of water and give it a whisk. Cover in plastic wrap and leave overnight to soak (or for a minimum of 2 hours) *optional to add food dye and flavour / scent extracts.
Move to a larger bowl and slowly add 1 cup of cornstarch until desired consistency is achieved.
Add more or less cornstarch for different textures, ideally you want it slimy but add enough cornstarch so it doesn't stick to your hands. You can use this slime as a play activity on its own or as a base for small world sensory play.
Now that your slime is done, stretch it, squish it and have lots of fun.

BALLOON PAINTING - Messy play activity

This activity promotes a fantastic sense of spatial awareness. It's a fresh and exciting take on painting, which is a favourite past time for most kids.
paint play

What you need: 

Child-friendly paint
Cardboard or large sheets of paper (easel pads, for example)
Large safety pins
A funnel

How you do it: 

To begin, fill the balloons with paint. You can use a funnel for a cleaner outcome, or you can join in on the sensory fun by filling the balloons without a funnel.
Close the top end of the balloons with a knot and poke holes in the balloon's bottom with a safety pin. Allow any blunders that may arise while the children apply paint to the cardboard by squeezing it from the balloons.


Hide big toy animals in the mud or sandpit and allow your child to discover and dig them out with their fingers and toes. By naming each animal that they recover, they can improve their listening and language abilities. Also, count the number of animals that they find!
hidden toys


Number 5 of our top 5 messy play ideas is playing with spaghetti as it is always a big hit, and it's so easy to do! It's great for improving fine and gross motor skills as well as pincer grips. Cook until just done, drain, and add some food colouring if you'd like to brighten it up a little. How much fun!
spaghetti play

Finally, Manage the Mess with These Waterproof Play Mats!

If the idea of messy play makes you feel super uncomfortable, you no longer have to go around cleaning. The Freddy and Co Playmat is water resistant and easy to clean. The reversible design means that once your child has grown out of one side you can turn it over to use the other.
To shop the Freddy and Co range of playmats click here.
picnic baby playmat