To help you stay healthy and happy at home during this time, we will be bringing you valuable health-and-wellness advice and activities from subject-matter experts within our local areas. Please join us and follow along via #AtHomeWithKB. 

Are you running out of ideas about how to keep your small children entertained at this time? Do the days seem to be getting longer while their engagement levels in play seem to be getting shorter? Are you looking for fun activities that don't involve a screen? While most of us are still cooped up at home, we thought we had better recruit some help from our friends at The Messy Shed

Entertaining small children is what the team at The Messy Shed loves to do. Here are two of their ideas on how to keep your little ones engaged in their play for longer than usual. Warning, though, a small amount of mess will be required. 

Activity 1: Nature at Work in the Kitchen 

Head out on a nature walk to your nearest park or open space and have the children collect interesting objects they find. Once home, set up a play kitchen, using one they might already have or, failing that, use your own kitchen, and encourage them to play with the items they have collected instead of the usual toy food. This will encourage their creativity because a plastic banana can only be a plastic banana, but a pinecone can be a banana, a sausage, a baguette or a spoon! Also, add in some things they can mix together to make potions in the kitchen. If you encourage play with loose parts that are not as prescriptive, you will begin to see your children playing for longer, more independently and more imaginatively. 

Activity 2: Rub-A-Dub-Bub

Most of you will have a baby doll at home. Extend your child’s play with his or her doll by firstly giving your child items to mix together to make a baby wash. The Messy Shed team recommend a bowl of shaving foam, a bowl of salt and even some paint, if you’re feeling adventurous. Have your child mix the body wash together and then apply it to the doll. Next, give them access to a baby bath or a bowl full of water so they can give their baby a wash. Make sure you have a towel on hand for them to dry up! If you leave your child to play, they will repeat this process many times! 

For many, many more messy play ideas, visit The Messy Shed’s social pages or visit

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