13. Messy Play Outside

Children's Activities - Messy Play OutsideKids love messy play. Jumping in puddles, making mud pies and special mixtures from things they find outside! Messy-sensory play provides many opportunities for learning, development and growth.

If it hasn’t been raining and you don’t have a puddle, provide children a plastic ice cream container and a stick and collect stuff from the garden, such as twigs, leaves, sand etc – add a bit of water and mix! The book Wombat Stew by Marcia Vaughn has a wonderful chant to sing “Wombat stew, wombat stew, ooey gooey, yummy chewy, wombat stew!”

Watch for any hazards in the garden such as berries and animal droppings. And try not to worry about children getting messy! Dress them in old clothes and aprons and be excited that they are learning from their messy experiences.


Children learn science concepts such as what dissolves, changes, sinks or floats. Messy play can calm children’s emotions and encourages imagination.

An interesting link from Plunket
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