Messy Play


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!

AO.com 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:

·         Chemistry – Budding scientists will love this one! They can make all the colourful explosions their hearts desire with bicarbonate of soda, food colouring and vinegar!

·         Egg Box Bugs – why chuck your egg boxes in the recycling when there are so many ways you can reuse them! Your kids will love inventing their own species of bug life buy sticking bits and bobs to the boxes – and the wackier the better!

·         Water Gun Painting – whether you are young or old, there is something very appealing about painting a blank canvas. And imagine shooting the paint at it! Sit back and watch your little ones create wonderful, colourful explosions! Don’t forget, this is definitely one for outside!


The messy play challenge was created after AO.com 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.

Andrew Kirkcaldy, group brand director at AO.com stated: 

“We carried out the survey to understand parent’s attitudes towards children’s play, and more specifically messy play. We know that children are becoming more and more used to technology, and although this has its benefits, we wanted to challenge families and teachers to put aside the iPads for a short while and get the children out and messy! Helping children’s development is so important, and so we created the Life is Messy campaign to help inspire parents and teachers.”

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:



2 comments

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  2. I agree, skill acquirement and the right development is probably the most important part of the child's growth. I often wonder how to develop a useful professional skill, like writing. Maybe someone could suggest where to find essay help online or something similar? It would be great to teach a child writing since childhood.

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