crawling child in mud

Why You Should Let Your Kids Engage In Messy Play

Did you know that your kids benefit from getting grubby? Messy play is not only fun for little ones, it’s also an essential part of building strong immune systems, relating to the world, and building skills such as coordination, creativity, and problem solving.

With modern entertainment for kids defaulting to a screen, we are changing the way children interact with the world. Because of that we are seeing an increase in problems such as obesity and Vitamin D deficiency.

But getting messy can change all of that!

It is time to tuck the iPads and tablets away and venture with your children into the big, wide, wonderful world. And if it’s raining? All the better!

Throw on some waterproof gear and make a beeline outside for some serious puddle jumping.

Here’s why you should let your kids get messy…

It Boosts Developing Immune Systems

While good hygiene is essential, it is not the same thing as staying clean. Practising good hygiene means washing little hands after going to the toilet and before eating, and also taking care not to spread illness when sick.

Contrary to the belief of many parents, it’s actually a good thing to expose developing immune systems to a wide variety of pathogens. These pathogens are then remembered and catalogued by the body, helping to build a strong immune system.

Dirt Is Good For Your Child!

Soil and mud contain a diverse array of microbes that are good for the health of your child. Some recent research has even shown that without these microbes, a child may be more prone to asthma, allergies, diabetes and other long term health problems.

So, adventure walks, making mud pies and jumping in the puddles are great ways to expose your kids to fun, activity and good old fashioned grub!

Messy Play Enhances Creativity

Because kids tend to spend far more time indoors than they did in previous generations, they often don’t have many opportunities to be creative. This can be particularly true if they are attached to televisions, iPads or gaming systems.

The beauty of messy play is that there is no desired end result! The purpose is to just enjoy the sights, smells and sensations involved. Your child is free to explore their imagination and think outside the box.

Because there’s no right or wrong way to play, they feel confident and have a sense of control. These simple factors should not be underestimated in their ability to build a sense of self-esteem and decision making skills in your kids.

Understanding And Appreciating Nature

Although messy play can occur indoors, it is much better to head out into nature (less chance of tracking the chaos through your house!)

Nothing beats learning by direct experience. As your child explores their natural environment during all seasons, they learn about snow, rain, sun, flowers, insects, animals and plants and develop a sense of curiosity about the world around them.

As Nana used to say, there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing choices! So, a great waterproof raincoat and overpants can serve your children well in any season. You can check out our range in store now.

Best Messy Play Activities To Try

Slimy play – give your children some goopy slime to go wild with. It is easy to make from household ingredients and provides hours of sensory fun for all ages. Try this recipe here.

Mudpies – this is an oldie but a goodie which I’m sure we all remember from our childhoods! All you need is soil, water, and some containers. Let your child’s imagination run wild as they “bake” delicious mud pies, cakes and smoothies, courtesy of mother nature.

Finger Painting – who needs brushes when you have fingers? Create some amazing works of art with a bit of paint and paper. You can even make non toxic paint at home with ½ cup flour, ½ cup salt, ½ cup water and a few drops of food colouring.


Getting messy can be great fun for kids. But if you are heading out into nature, it pays to be prepared with good waterproof clothing – especially in the colder months. Here at Little Ducks we stock high quality waterproof clothing for children under 6, check out our range here.