15 Messy Summer Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers

15 Messy Summer Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #allEssentials #CollectiveBias

As parents it's easy to forget how much fun getting messy once was. When we see our younguins playing in mud, our first instinct is typically to try to intervene. But we shouldn't. Sure you might catch a few side-eyes from the Sanctimommies at the playground, but studies have consistently shown that playing in dirt has many health and psychological benefits. In fact, a recent study revealed that certain types of  bacteria commonly found in soil activates the neurons in your brain that produce serotonin, the mood regulator of the body.

So, let your kids get messy! It's literally good for their health. It took me a while to build up the courage to just allow Little J to have good, dirty fun, but now that I've backed off a bit, I'm finding that I'm enjoying making messy memories with her. Besides, now that I've switched to using all® Fresh Clean Essentials, I can finally kick back and enjoy watching Little J make get messy without fretting about how hard I'm going to have to scrub to remove those mud/ and or paint stains. all® Fresh Clean Essentials provides a powerful clean without the typical harshness found in other detergents.

Since Little J has sensitive skin, finding sulfate free detergents has always been a bit of a struggle, so I was pleasantly surprised to discover that all® Fresh Clean Essentials is sulfate free and still provides a powerful, deep down clean without removing the color from her clothing. In mommy terms, that means winning!

So if you're looking for some fun (and messy) ways to helps your little ones beat the indoor blues, check out my list below and make sure you've got your all® Fresh Clean Essentials at the ready to handle the mess!

Paint Rocks
This is one of Little J's favorite pastimes and involves very little supplies. Basically, all you'll need is a round rock or two, paint, paintbrushes, and a colorful imagination.
  1. Select your rock. 
  2. Lay out your paint
  3. Hand the paintbrush to your toddler
  4. Step back
  5. And let the fun commence.
  6. If you're feeling extra bold, put some paint in a bottle with 1/2 cup of water and let them spray paint their rocks.

  1. When your toddler is done, take the rocks and place in a warm and sunny location for at least 2 hours to allow rocks to dry. 
  2. Decloth toddler and toss contaminated clothing into washer along with detergent
  3. Read and follow instructions on your bottle of all® Fresh Clean Essentials
  4. Admire your toddlers handy artwork and bring rocks to your office to showcase how talented your little one is!

Melt Crayons in the Sun
Be sure to stop by and visit the lovely Crystal of Growing a Jeweled Rose for a full tutorial for this awesomely fun sunny day project!
Be sure to stop by and visit the lovely Tara of We Got Real for a full tutorial for this creative and messy outdoor project!
Be sure to stop by and visit the lovely Kim of Roadkill Rescue for a full tutorial for this wet and wild project!
Be sure to stop by and visit the lovely Jenn of Clean and Scentsible for the full tutorial for this awesome outdoor natural scavenger hunt tutorial and printable!
Be sure to stop by and visit WonderfulDIY.com for the full tutorial for this awesome outdoor natural scavenger hunt tutorial and printable!
Be sure to stop by and visit the lovely Crystal of Growing a Jeweled Rose for a full tutorial for this awesome nighttime project!
Be sure to stop by and visit the lovely Amy of Learning and Exploring Through Play for a full tutorial for this awesome nighttime project!

Be sure to stop by and visit Kids Activity Blog for the tutorial on how to make these messy and colorful paint bombs!
Check out B-Inspired Mama for the lowdown on this ooey gooey, delicious pie.

You'll want to check out this simple and amazing project-- Erupting Ice Chalk by Allison of Learn Play Imagine.
Stop by and visit Growing a Jeweled Rose AGAIN for this super easy outdoor craft for your toddlers and preschoolers! 
No blender, no problem! Go visit Lorie of Reading Confetti for a super cool tutorial on how to create a Blender Free Slushie
Talk about saving the best for last. Don't walk, run to Momfluential to check out this amazingly awesome tutorial for a Kiddie Car Wash!

These are just a few idea to get you started, but the possibilities are endless! If you're planning on getting messy with your kiddos this season, be sure to head to the Love Your Laundry Hub to check out all® Fresh Clean Essentials and see what everyone else is talking about!


  1. These are great activities!! I think my kids would love to do most of them!! My favourite Glow in the Dark Chalk!!

  2. These are all wonderful ideas. My kids used to get super mess when they played, but it was more because we were playing outside. I love these ideas because they are so entertaining and engaging for the kids, and they allow them to get creative, colorful, and mess. And messy is always the most fun.

  3. I love all these ideas to having fun and getting messy! Seeing the joy on their faces as they live carefree is worth all the mess clean up in the world! I'm excited to show this list to my kids and see what kind of fun we can have!

  4. Great ideas! I'm not a fan of messes, so it's fortunate that I was childfree until marrying into a teenage stepson. He's captain of his football team and brings home his share of messes from the pitch, but I'm slowly finding the best ways to deal with them. The cleaning products available in Denmark aren't up to the standard I was used to in the US. I wish All would make its way over here!

  5. I can so see my 6 year old doing the paint rocks, too. He's definitely one to run outside and make a giant mess splashing through mud puddles or digging in the dirt. However, I want him to enjoy life more than I worry about getting everything clean.

  6. My son's favorite thing to do is dig in the dirt. We have very firm clay here, not top soil, so I will usually run by the garden center and grab a big pack of potting soil for him to dig in with his tractors and excavators. He LOVES it, plus I can use the potting soil to fill bare spots in the lawn and get seeds growing :)

  7. These are perfect activities for kids and will be sure to keep them away from electronics and having a ton of fun.I love watching kids having fun while making messes without any worries in the world. We are going to have fun putting these activities to the test.

  8. My son loves to be outdoors. I find it quite boring. Maybe you should retitle it as "Give Mom A Craft to Play Outdoors". Lol

  9. These are great ideas! I love to make play doh with my daughter. I will have to try your tips. I love to take my daughter outside to run and let my puppy play. I bask in the sun with a cup of coffee- love it! :)

  10. The messier the better when it comes to toddlers and outdoor activities!! It's fabulous that we have products like ALL that make mom's life easier once the fun is done!


Sharing is caring ;)