Keeping Kids Active, Healthy + Engaged

5 Messy Activities for Outdoor Fun

Since as early as they could walk, your little one has probably made a mess at some point or another, such as a beautiful permanent marker portrait on the wall or a flour creation all over your living room floor. Or, how about how they clean up the room by stuffing towels down the toilet? Although irritating to parents, messy kids actually know how to have fun with their curiosity and intellect. Instead of stifling that creativity, unleash their expression with these fun, messy outdoor activities:

Sheet Painting

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Instead of disposing of your old sheets, let your kids get creative with them. Simply grab an old sheet, hang it on a fence or other surface and let your kids go to town with paint. Use various painting utensils including: balls, spray bottles, foam letters, sponges and hands. Finger and body painting is one of the greatest experiences for a toddler. Spray bottles let you spray all different streams of color onto your canvas and balls get all that cooped up energy out while putting a splash of color on your sheet. Display your kids’ brilliant creation on the wall, in the playroom or let them use the sheet as an expressive piece in their room.

Color Sliding

First, make sure your kids have on play clothes that can get messy. Put paint on a slide and let them slide down into a mess of color; have them write words or letters in the slide; have a colorful race using matchbox cars; or have a pool filled with paint at the bottom of a slippery slide. No matter what you decide, this messy masterpiece is sure to be a hit. This can even be done in the winter with a sled and some color. Instead of sliding into water filled color, sled down into snow filled color.

Word splashing

Outdoor time is a perfect opportunity to promote learning as well as interact with your child at a deeper level. Whether your kids are just learning letters or spelling advanced words, word splashing is a entertaining way to learn. Using chalk, write words or letters in a hopscotch pattern. Fill up a bucket of water and put several sponges in it. Now it is time for the fun to begin; throw sponges on the words or letters until they disappear. Once they have disappeared, try to spell the missing words or remember the missing letters. Whoever gets the most words or letters right at the end wins the game.

Mud Fun

Whether young or old, there is something about the mud that makes life a little more fun. Use a hose to make a muddy section in your yard. Have a mud fight, a muddy slip n’ slide or a muddy tug of war. You can even use mud as a learning canvas by having children create muddy words or letters. With mud there are endless possibilities including mud wrestling, mud fighting and mud jumping. The muddier you get, the more slippier fun you will have.


Color run

Another messy activity that is not only great for home, but hitting the streets as a great way to make money for a fundraiser, the color run is a vivid display of your energy. Start a race with your kids or kids in the neighborhood. Give your kids a scavenger hunt in which they have to go to different areas of the neighborhood to get doused in a different color of colored powder. Whoever makes it back to the house with all the splashed array of colors first, wins. Or, have fun throwing colored powder in the air and just getting messy. Turn on some music and get your body physically fit with some colorful dance moves.

The problem with today’s kids is the lack of getting together outside of school and being creative while having fun and getting messy. As Ms. Frizzle from The Magic School Bus says, “It is time to take chances, make mistakes and get messy.” Enjoy time with your kids, let go and unleash your inner child with these fun messy, learning activities.