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Messy activities for toddlers

I love messy activities, which you probably already know if you follow me on Instagram (if you don’t, follow me here).
Toddlers love messy activities too, and they’re not only fun, they’re also good for your toddler.

If you do a messy activity with your toddler, it doesn’t mean that you need to spend an hour cleaning up after the activity. Which I know will be a relief to a lot of you.
I’m not a fan of cleaning either, and have some tips for you that will make it easier and faster to clean after the messy activity.

Why are messy activities good?

Like I said above, doing messy activities is good for your toddler, but some of you might wonder why the’re good

  • It provides hands-on learning
  • Gives children the freedom to be creative
  • It enhances sensory development
  • Inspires their curiosity
  • It supports tactile learning

As you see, it’s really good for their development, so it’s important to incorporate messy play in your routine. You don’t need to do it ever day of course, once a week would already be great.

Messy activities Mud

Make clean up easy and fast

After you’ve done a messy activity, you’ll of course have to clean up. Here are some tips to make it easier and faster to clean up after one of these activities.

Shower curtain – A shower curtain doesn’t cost a lot of money and it makes it easier to clean up after a messy activity.

Kiddie pool – You can also do a messy activity in a kiddie pool so your floor doesn’t get dirty.

In the bathtub – Doing a messy activity in the bathtub also makes it easy to clean, just open the tab and rinse out the tub

Messy activity ideas

We talked about why messy activities are important and how to make cleaning them up easier for you. Now it’s time for some ideas to get you and your toddler started.
Here are 10 easy ways to get started with messy play, plus some ideas to make it more fun and keep your toddler interested.

 

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1. Play with shaving cream
This is easy and inexpensive, just spray some shaving cream in the bath tub or on a shower curtain and you’re done. You can of course make it more fun by adding food coloring and toys that can get wet.

2. Finger paint
You can buy some finger paint for little money and have lots of fun with it. Also try to paint with some of the toys, like cars or animals to make tracks.

3. Jello dig
This is one of the favorite activities of my toddler, she loves to dig and get dirty. Prepare the jello as it says on the package and throw some toys in there. You need to put it in the fridge the night before, so it takes some time to prepare it.

4. Playing with foam
Playing with foam can be a lot of fun, hide some toys in the or let your toddler wash her cars. Do this activity in the bath tub or on a shower curtain to make the clean up easy and fast.

5. Play dough
We like to use play dough in combination with her toy kitchen, cookie cutters and an old rolling pin. But it’s also fun to make tracks in them with farm animals to see which prints they have.

6. Mud
Mud is cheap, free actually, and it’s great to play with. You don’t need a fancy mud kitchen to make it fun, just some bowls, pots and other old kitchen utensils. This activity is best done outside, but I’ve also had a day where I took some mud inside (I’m a bit crazy sometimes).

7. cooked spaghetti
Spaghetti is free and it feels funny, so why not give it to your toddler? You don’t need to do much extra besides boiling the pasta, you could of course add some food coloring to make it more bright.

8. Slime
My daughter loves to play with slime, and so do I, so it’s great to do this together. Your toddler might think it’s a bit weird in the beginning, but after you show her how to play with it she’ll love it.

I’ve bought some different kinds to play with, which is great. But if you’re creative you might want to try to make it yourself.

I’ve tried to make it myself a few times but haven’t been able to do it. I’ll keep on trying and as soon as I find a recipe that works, I’ll let you know.

Messy activities Slime

9. Play with sand
Another activity that’s best done outside, but still a lot of fun. You can also buy some kinetic sand, which is easier to clean than normal sand.

10. Oobleck
This is really fun, and simple to make. You mix some cornstarch with water and you’re done, so it’s also really cheap to make. You can make it more fun by adding some food coloring.
It’s liquid, but also solid, which allows for lots of exploring. Be careful though, as this can create a lot of mess. So you can best do this in a kiddie pool or on a shower curtain.

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