Arts, Crafts and Messy Play Ideas

arts, crafts and messy play in the garden

Jake has really started to get into arts and crafts this year which has meant I have learnt to hunt out where the best bits and bobs are to buy, what he enjoys doing and what tools are essential. I have also learnt that messy play is a must for a toddler and is a great way for them to learn about textures, how to express themselves and to have great fun! Here are our top arts and crafts ideas for you:


Arts and Crafts

So far, I have found that the best places to go and get arts and crafts supplies from are HobbyCraft, Home Bargains, B and M’s, Sainsbury’s and Poundland. One essential item is a table cover which is waterproof and washable. I found mine in Sainsbury’s but I have seen the same one in home bargains too (yellow with paint splodges). We now have arty bits bulging out of storage boxes made up of paper, card, tissue paper, paint, brushes, pens, pencils, stamp pens, play-doh, play-doh tools, crayons, glitter, goggly eyes, feathers, pom poms, lollypop sticks, straws, glitter glue, kids glue, stick on bugs, stick on characters etc… the list is just far too huge!

I have just popped out to a couple of shops today and come back with these fab bargains:

table of crafting goodies including pom poms, stars, goggly eyes, feathers, straws and rolling pins

 Check out those fab paint and dough rollers!


The straws and pom-poms come in very handy in art, messy play and sensory activities. We have used the straws this week in the sandpit creating different shapes and patterns and also as masts for our castles. We have also been having a go at teeny table football. By using a pom-pom as a ball and blowing through the straws to push them along.

I found some very cute moveable card animals in Poundland and Jake had fun yesterday decorating a chicken and a rabbit (£1 for a pack of 4):

decorated chicken and rabbit


Junk Art

If you don’t want to spend too much why not try recycling some household items, such as toilet roll holders just like my step brother’s idea that he brought to me.

Merida, Elsa and Aurora

Messy Play

You can also have fun messy play out in the garden with sand, buckets and spades and a bowl full of water and washing up liquid to make bubbles:

child on lawn with a sand and water table plus lots of toys and foamy water in a bowl



A little while ago I found the paper mache animals they sell in Hobbycraft. We had so much fun with all of these and they don’t cost too much at all:

A bit of paint and some goggly eyes and you have some cute little keep sakes. We’ve even given some out to Grandparents as gifts.

And you cannot go wrong with a bit of painting a cardboard box… plus yourselves if Jake has anything to do with it!!

Jake painting himself in the garden



If you have been following me for a while you may remember some of my posts and blogs of what we have already been up to. One of the biggest things we did this year was to build Jake his own ‘garden’ which you can read all about in the blog kids garden ideas. This is a favourite place for him to get messy, be outside and understand that there are no boundaries here, he can do whatever he likes to it.


I hope some of my arts and crafts ideas have given you some food for thought and that you can have fun with your kiddies this summer too. Let me know if you have more ideas!

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4 thoughts on “Arts, Crafts and Messy Play Ideas

  1. My girls love making butterflies. Cut out the shape with card & let them get creative in decorating it. Also mix paint with water & blow it through straws creates fab pictures.

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