Playground design & build specialists
05/10/2021 Blog

Messy Play Ideas for Autumn

Messy Play Ideas for Autumn

Autumn is, without a doubt, one of the best seasons for messy play. It is a season full of colour, conkers, pinecones and other natural elements that we don’t see throughout the rest of the year. Messy play is the kind of play that helps children to nurture important, future skills. It fosters curiosity, imagination and exploration at the same time as boosting physical development. As well as this, children can increase their ability to problem solve whilst playing either independently or as part of a team. Check out some of the ideas that the Newby team have come up with to keep your children occupied this autumn!

1. Autumnal tuff tray

    Take the little ones outdoors for a scavenger hunt and see what they can find! Suggest collecting conkers, twigs, colourful leaves of different autumnal shades and pinecones. These would make a brilliant selection of natural, autumnal elements. Add them all to your tuff tray and even include some orange glitters and/or playdough to make a real mess!

    2. Leaf paint printing

      Head outside to find a variety of leaves in all different shapes and sizes. Then pour your chosen paint colours into a paint palette and gently dip your leaves into the paint. Once dipped, print the side with paint on to a piece a paper and create different patterns. Maybe use the leaves to print a butterfly onto the paper?

      3. Decorate conkers

        Take arts and crafts to a whole new level when decorating your conkers! Use a selection of materials such as: pipe cleaners, stick-on eyes, feathers, glitter, paint and so on. The list is endless! You could use the stick-on eyes to create tiny conker people? Or you could create a hole in the middle of each conker and thread a pipe cleaner through to connect them all together, generating a conker caterpillar! Utilise your imagination to the best of your ability and see what marvelous creations you can come up with.

        4. Jelly hunt

          Use orange jelly cubes for that autumnal feel and add a small amount of water to generate a paste. Before the jelly sets, find a collection of autumnal items such as conkers, pinecones, twigs etc. and hide them in the paste. Let the jelly set in the fridge for a couple of hours and then begin the hunt by spooning each item out. You could turn it into a game of time, see how long it takes you to fish out all of the items!

          5. Carve a pumpkin

            What better way to get into the autumn spirit than carving a pumpkin? Head to your nearest pumpkin patch and take in the beautiful colours and the fresh, outdoor, autumn smells, pick the best of the bunch and take home to carve (with parental guidance). Write a word or make a face and then add a tealight inside to see your creation light up. It’s a yearly tradition!

            6. Mud kitchens 

              Mud kitchens are brilliant for making a muddy, autumnal mess, creating the perfect opportunity for early years to practice their social skills and understand their natural environment. Use different spoons and shovels to dig up all the natural elements you can find outdoors and prepare a delicious mud pie. Or since it’s almost Halloween, why not produce a magic potion? As well as being fun, mud kitchens are a great educational resource. They benefit children by improving their imaginative skills and even helps develop numerical skills.

              Click here to browse our selection of Mud Kitchens.

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