There's a time to introduce your child to tidying, putting away and washing up, and there's a time to put all this aside in favour of some messy fun! Check out our tips on what to do, where to do it and how to minimise the damage...
Supernanny are compiling a list of the best of the messy activites for some autumn fun with your kids. Here's a selection, or send us your suggestions.
In the park
Take a walk in the park with your child in the park and collect some leaves, conkers and anything else that catches your eye. Take them home, set out some newspaper on the floor and dip and print with the leaves and conkers - don't bring out the brushes just yet as it will encourage your child to compare the different prints. If you have enough, why not get him to help you cut them out and make a tree for the wall?
In the kitchen
Get a big bowl and fill it with washing up liquid and warm water. Add some runny paint and mix this into the soapy water. Blow through a straw into the misture until there are loads of colourful bubbles spilling out. Get a sheet of paper and lay it on top of the bubbles to make bubble pictures. Try adding different colours to the liquid, and once you've finished you could use the bubble pictures as writing paper.
In the garden
Not for the faint-hearted, but an afternoon making mud pies can be great fun! It's better to do this on your patio or decking. Get a washing up bowl full of mud and add enough water to make it sloppy but not runny. Get a few old Tupperware pots or foil pie tubs and get the kids to fill them up. See if they can make a wall, or have a little mud pie tea party with a dolls tea set. Great fun with lots of kids but make sure their mums don't mind them coming home dirty!
Got your own ideas? Email us to get them on this page or share them in the playtime forum.
Find out more
- CBeebies, the BBC's website for kids, has lots of great ideas for games
- Recipes for Children: Kids love to cook, and these recipes can be made as a family activity. Your child will learn to measure and combine basic ingredients, and they'll see how food transforms from raw to cooked!
- One to One Bonding: In families where there are siblings, the One to One Technique has been used on the show to make sure each child benefits from individual attention...