20 Messy Activities Kids Will Love

messy activities mindi stavish
Image via Mindi Stavish

Like it or not, kids love to get messy — and the messier, the better. My three boys certainly can create a mess in less than five minutes. Give them paint, and they will cover their entire bodies with it. Open up brand new cans of playdough, and they will use it to spackle the walls. Let them run loose at a playground spattered with mud puddles, and they run right through them before even thinking about going on the swings.

I have learned that they need to create messes to explore, express, and channel their energy, and so, we make messes.

{ MORE: These Are the Best Toys for Outdoor Play }

In the warmer months, there are plenty of messy activities that you can bring outdoors. For example, my boys love to play at the table outside with playdough. Here are some more messy activities that they love:

messy-play-muddy-hands
Image via Flickr/ FreeLearningLife

1. Playdough.

2. Painting of any kind.

3. Cardboard boxes — my kids tear them up and scatter the cardboard everywhere, claiming it's a tornado.

4. Splashing in rain puddles.

5. Digging in the mud.

Homemade Slime for Sensory Play
Image via Colorado Moms

6. A mixture of cornstarch and water. Simply take a container, dump some cornstarch in, and slowly add water while your kids mix it with their hands.

7. Shaving cream and food coloring makes great paint.

8. Glitter.

9. Make your own slime with Borax and glue.

10. Gather all the stuffed animals in your house and play zoo.

painted child hands
Image via iStock

11. Make a giant fort with all the blankets in your linen closet.

12. Painting with cold spaghetti.

13. Playing in chocolate pudding.

14. Creating a car wash with a kid pool, sponges, water, and bubble bath solution.

15. Painting inside a large box.

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Image via Flickr/ Kevin Jarrett

16. Painting with mud.

17. Block building with ice cubes.

18. Playing in a Jell-o sensory bin.

19. I Spy with packing peanuts.

20. Creating structures with marshmallows.

{ MORE: Got a Tot Who Loves to Run? Try These Classic Games to Channel Their Energy }

What is your child's favorite messy activity?

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20 Messy Activities Kids Will Love

Mindi is a working mom with three boys ages 4, 2, and an infant (born June 2013). She spent her first 8 years of her career in Speech-Language Pathology at a Children's Hospital. She currently works with adults and children in home health. The real fun for her happens when she is at home with her boys, chasing them around and pretending to be a super hero. She blogs about life as a working mom at Simply Stavish. Her weekly feature, Words in the Sand, teaches parents how to grow their child's s ... More

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