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6 Messy Play Ideas for Toddlers


6 Messy Play Ideas for Toddlers

Why Messy Play?

Have you noticed your baby mouths every toy in front of them? Curiosity is a natural trait in children and that's great news for their development. Toddlerhood is a stage where they are at their explorative and adventurous best. Give them free rein and they’ll surprise you with how well they can learn on their own. If you are feeling crazy enough, give them space to get messy. You’ll have a lot of cleaning to do but your children will have a blast and love you more!


Let’s Get Messy! Oh, But Wait!

Here are a few tips to keep in mind before you indulge in messy play with children. You will thank us later! 😉


  • Choose an ideal place – As you may already know, messy play can be extremely messy! So, it's best to play in a place where you don't mind getting dirty. You could do messy play outdoors, in the bathroom, or even in the kitchen.

  • Protect their clothes – Toddlers are likely to get messy when they play with slimy, gooey, grubby materials. It's a good idea to put an apron on your toddler or to dress them in old clothes that you don't mind getting dirty.

  • Supervise your toddler – It's important to supervise your children closely when they are playing with messy items. This is especially important if you are using materials that could be dangerous, such as small objects or sharp tools.

At the end of the day, make sure you have fun and enjoy!Messy play should be fun for both you and your toddler. Don't worry about the mess. Just relax and enjoy the experience.


Get. Set. Go!

The word “messy” may not probably be the most exciting word for the parents or caregivers but for the kids, it’s heaven! The process of creating the mess involves all their senses which aids in their holistic development.


For a child, everything is a learning opportunity and this sure means it goes into the mouth! Keeping this in mind, we’ve curated a list of safe play options for your child.

  1. Sand pit – Sounds risky? It’s not! For such an interesting name, the setup is impressively simple. All you need is some corn starch, some cocoa powder or hot chocolate mix and water. Mixing all this together makes a safe, messy sludge aka child’s sand pit. Add in your child’s favorite characters and miniature toddler toys– bugs, or animals or even dinosaurs, and you are all set!

  2. Water play – This is the simplest way to have a lot of fun while practicing important skills such as hand-eye coordination, balance, capacity and more. What do you need? Just a couple of containers, water, and a safe space to make a mess. Additionally, you can choose to switch it up with soapy suds or get your child to help you wash vegetables or their infant bath toys.

  3. Slime – One can either love slime or absolutely hate it, there is no in-between! Children mostly fall under the former category. It is sticky, messy, and fun for toddlers. There are various at-home recipes to make slime and it gives children a lot of room for free play. Some examples of slime toys - cloud slimes, goo toy, gunge etc.

  4. Jelly – This is just one way of doing it but involving children in anything kitchen related is always welcome! Having them explore the textures, make food that they can consume, adds to the joy they feel.

  5. Playdough – Infant or Toddler Playdough is a very soft material and toddlers usually love to play with. You can make your own playdough at home or buy it from the store. Toddlers can use playdough to make shapes, animals, and other creative objects.

  6. Painting – For tinier tots, child’s paint set and colours can be made at home or bought after ensuring they are non-toxic. Once you have the colours, you can go wild! You can even have a large sheet of paper stuck to the walls, because let’s face it, nothing is more fun than painting or drawing on large surfaces!

These activities are a great way for toddlers to learn and develop new skills. It also helps them to express themselves creatively and to have fun. Next time you are looking for an activity for your toddler, try messy play. You won't be disappointed!


Giving your child the freedom to express themselves and get a little messy can go a long way in their overall development. So, mommies and daddies, get your aprons and cleaning hats on and let your child loose!

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