30 days of mess

Messy play is an important part of their development, helping children to learn important life skills.

When you’re looking for activities for your children, it is important that parents look for ways to aid growth in terms of physical, communicative, social, intellectual and creative development and messy play can help immensely! has created a fun and informative resource offering some great ideas for outdoor and messy play! ‘Life is Messy’, it is an interactive piece challenging us to put away the technology for a little while and take part in 30 fun activities to get kids outside and dirty.

Each idea is supported by extra information and inspiration to make sure you can create the activity.

Examples include:

  • Home-made play dough – Let their imaginations run wild, what will they sculpt today!? A bright green dinosaur or a series of buildings for a much bigger project? It also lasts a lot longer than shop bought play dough too.
  • Glass Paint – why restrict the kids to just paper? Let them loose on a window or a pane of glass with some homemade glass paint. It’s easy to make and easy to clean off. The kids will love admiring their creations, especially when the sun is shining through.
  • Papier Mache – a classic favourite with all the kids! You can pretty much make anything, and the children can get really creative with the paints and the decorating of the sculptures they design.

The messy play challenge was created after carried out a survey revealing the nation’s attitude to play, with rather surprising results:

  • 29% of parents worry their child’s development is negatively affected by TV, games consoles and other technology.
  • The two main areas of development highlighted by parents as being the most negatively affected were social skills (44%) and attention span (31%).
  • 41% of parents discourage their children from getting dirty or messy when playing outside for fear of extra housework or germs.

With children’s development potential being affected through lack of play in the home and a dependency on technology as a whole, it has never been more important for parents to incorporate messy play in their daily activities.


The Life is Messy campaign includes the 30 day messy play challenge and the survey data, along with lots of other fun information. You can take a look at it here: