I swear that almost every kid friendly activity I do involves five minutes of entertainment for the kids and then a half-an-hour of cleaning up their mess afterwards. Making muffins results in my kitchen covered in flour; playing playdoh results in me scrubbing the half chewed bits and pieces of dough off the floor for hours after the kids have left the mess and moved onto something else.
And don’t even get me started on painting.
And while I do love doing activities with my kids and we do get our mess on every day, I’ve come up with some non-messy activities that are great when you really need the house to stay clean (rent inspection that afternoon perhaps) or when you really can’t be bothered to clean.
This technique of using a sealed ziploc bag while painting is genius!
Create this no mess rainbow art after reading the beautifully written and illustrated story “My colour is Rainbow” by Agnes Hsu. Babies, Toddlers and preschoolers will love exploring this story and easy art process. This painting activity is perfect for the days when you don’t want to spend ages cleaning up your child!
Here’s how to do your own no mess rainbow art.
Imagine how a simple playdough can bring so much mess-free fun!
Here’s how to make your indoor ring toss.
Let your kids match the letters in their hands to the letters on the tray.
Upcycling cardboard boxes not only promise clean fun but also help encourage children to work together do the activity.
Here’s how to make one.
5. DIY Ball Run
Got a large flat box and a few cardboard tubes? Don’t throw it away just yet because here’s one idea for your kids to play with.
All you need is laundry basket, some thread and toys. It will take approximately 5-10 minutes to make a net and place toys inside that will keep them occupied for 20 minutes or more.
If you worry about your kids wanting to draw on walls, try putting them in a cardboard box big enough so they can move, and let them draw memories in there!
Shadows make a lot of shapes (most of the time, funny) that kids will surely enjoy. So, with just a pen, paper and sunglasses (you might want to use sunscreen too), and a little bit of imagination, this will be a funtime for the entire family.
Dog-lover kids will jump with delight to this easy paper craft. All you need is a sheet of paper, and a pen to draw your cute DIY dog’s face.
This is perfect for mums who want to train kids to help with household chores. This will teach kids values like discipline, a sense of responsibility, and even mathematical skills. The “chips” can be anything – paperclips, stickers, play money….anything that you think would work for your kids!
Let your child’s musical talent (and creativity) be unleashed with this cardboard box guitar. It may not sound like the real one, but it would still bring loads of fun for your kids.
12. Hot Lava Rugs
Surely, this activity will keep off dirt from the floor as kids run from object to object, making sure not to touch the floor. Your kids will have so much fun they didn’t realise you just want to keep the floor clean.
13. Sticker Line-Up
Just scribble anything in a long piece of paper and your kids can put stickers on it peace and quiet.
Who doesn’t love waashi tapes! They’re colourful tapes that can do a lot of stuff more than just being an adhesive. It’s decorative and for a no-mess fun activity, this flower craft is just adorable.
This fun no-glue activity can let your kids get creative with just a piece of paper, black pen and scissors.
16. Fort Building
Sure, building a fort can require minor mess (you will need blankets and pillows), but if you can convince the kids to make the fort in their bedroom, then you have a mess-free main area still. We build forts by draping a large blanket over the back of two chairs and adding pillows into the covered area. However, you can create forts or tents in any crevice of the house with a little imagination and a lot of blankets.
17. Board Games
I’ve always loved board games. It challenges the mind and spirit. This no mess activity will bring loads of fun not just for the kids but for the whole family as well.
Here’s a Lego Board Game printable!
Here are just a few suggestions we have. What other non messy kid’s activities can you add to the list? Feel free to submit your own ideas to the SAHM team at [email protected]. We’d love to hear from you!
Jenna Gallina is a WAHM mum of two children under four and an overactive dog. She relies on nap time, Jimmy Giggle and daycare days to keep the house pseudo-cleaned and complete her work before each week is done. And she rarely gets through the day without a glass of wine.