Thursday 31 July 2014

Good Clean Messy Fun!

THIS is messy play!
CURRENTLY my legs are covered in spots.  Big, dirty, itchy spots.  They are so uncomfortable, so unsightly and unbelievably itchy there is no way these things are regular hives. I found myself googling insect bites.  I am still none the wiser.

I take the kids to the pool every day and this morning I toyed with taking out the Vichy Derma Blend to camouflage the red discs or raiding the first aid kit for those little circular flesh coloured plasters.  But I don’t have enough of either.  My Vichy Derma blend is only a teeny tiny sample and I want to save it for my face not my dodgy looking legs.

What on earth have mosquito bites/hives got to do with messy kids play, I hear you ask,

Then it hit me.  Maybe I’m allergic to the thoughts of messy kids play.  I honestly get so stressed, annoyed and completely anal about these things I don’t usually do messy kids play.  

So I reckon I’ve reacted in the only way I know how – with an allergic reaction.

All joking aside, even though I do have horrible hives on my legs, I admit to being not a big fan of messy play.  Could you tell?  I doubt I am not alone in this admission either.

But I have noticed something in our house; whilst they certainly enjoy messy play along the lines of painting, play dough and the odd spot of baking, they lose interest in it very, very quickly.  In fact, the setting up of the paints, making the play dough (yes, I did go there) takes longer, much longer, than the actual time they spend playing/painting.

I’ve done it all; made cards, cookies, painted pictures, the dreaded play dough, loom bands (do they count?) and encouraged Lego tournaments.  All over within ten minutes but not after there is a huge row over something or other.

However, what they do enjoy is outside play.  We have a house full of (broken) toys but they will head out and spend the afternoon with school bags on their backs containing kitchen knives, apples and water bottles playing The Hunger Games.  They track rabbits in the grass.  Play on the trampoline.  Play in the puddles.  Kick a ball around.  Sweep the driveway.  Take each other hostage.  Ride their bicycles.  Play on the swings. 

This year they had tremendous fun planting trees in the garden. They also made wooden swords with Mister Husband and they got a tremendous kick out of this.  Smallest Boy is very fond of his own company and likes to line up his many toy cars and play with them

They enjoy a spot of face painting.    Recently the oldest boys have taken to keeping a journal and recording their daily adventures.   

Water guns?  That constitutes as messy kids play surely.  They love that.  Or rather they did when the weather was a bit better. 

Bubbles are water, aren't they?

So in the same way you can take a horse to water but can’t make him drink, I can wave poster paints in front of my boys and sprinkle flour around with the promise of play dough, but I can’t make them play with the stuff for an hour.  I should be so lucky.

In fact today one of them asked “what can I do” and I deliberately suggested he draw something.  Out came the rather large box of colours and off he went to grab some paper.  I watched to see if any of the others would be tempted.  But no. 

Although Smallest Boy can have great fun with a scrap of paper, a safety scissors and a chunk of blu-tack.  Keeps him occupied for ages.

So, messy play is great and all but we haven’t had much success with it in my house.

It very much appears that my boys are outside kids and believe me, they get up to more than their fair share of messy, filthy play out there.

This messy play blog post has been brought to you today in association with Mama Courage who is a lot better at messy play than I am!!


  1. Lovely post, and so much messy, fuss free play! Great when it happens organically, too. Love the idea of the older kids keeping a diary, what a great thing to keep and show them when they're all grown up!

    1. I love the journal keeping too! I am trying not to be a nag and remind them about it, but it's such a great idea. Particularly mindful I think if they've had a bad day. They can look back on when times were good.

  2. Seems like they do plenty of what I'd call messy play. Outdoor fun is the best and mud and grass stains are far more difficult to clean than paint and playdough!

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