Outdoor Messy Play!

It’s the best place for it, in my experience. ‘Outdoors’, that is. The clue’s in the name: Messy Play. It’s messy!

It all started with an old tin of Smash* I found in the kitchen cupboard.

It was spotted.

“What’s that, Daddy?”

Such innocent little faces. Such a loaded question. Continue reading “Outdoor Messy Play!”



DSCF3876For the first 2 years of your lives we all lived together in our big house in the Midlands. The “big old house”, with the big old garden.

You don’t remember it. I do.

I remember how I was your full-time, stay-at-home Daddy. For your first year with Mummy, and for your second year by myself when Mummy went back to work, with reduced hours.

034I remember it all so well. You don’t.
Continue reading “Blackberries”

A Brief History of Messy Play

It’s been long time since I did a messy play post; not since April in fact. Too long!

The main reason is that I take a lot of photos so going thorough them, selecting the best ones, adding my watermark etc. takes time – time that I often don’t have.

So here at last is what we’ve been up to, messy-stylee!

Jake & Ellie’s favourite type of messy play is probably foody play.

Back in April & May we had several sessions, & they loved it. We got very messy; me included.

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We just grab any old or cheap foodstuffs we find lying around, stick them in little bowls & give them a big bowl each. They then mix it up in their bowls while I add water on demand. Until their bowls are full, that is: even now they still don’t seem to have the concept of “too much water”.

We use – for instance – flour, old or unwanted breakfast cereals, lentils, whole or crunched-up old organix crisps, old bread / breadcrumbs, old biscuits, sometimes old fruit. They love it!

I’d love it more if they’d help with the clean-up operation, but that’ll come. I hope…

At other times they like to try their hand at ‘gardening’ – a.k.a. playing with dirt!

Later in May they decided to take the remains of foody messy play & plant them! Obviously if you put food into a pot of dirt, add compost & water then it will grow into plants which you can then pick & eat.


Fortunately for us they seemed to forget about this project soon afterwards, so they weren’t disappointed at seeing no reward for their toil!

Also in May they did some painting which I think is their most creative yet. I set them loose in the garden with a big slab of cardboard, paints & brushes & let them at it! I was delighted with what they came up with. Totally unbidden by me they started sticking bits & pieces from the garden onto the wet paint: sticks from plants I’d pruned, dandelions, grass.

Their painting became an ‘Installation’: Tate Gallery here we come!


Later on, with a little help from me, Jake worked out that combining different coloured paints together made a new colour! He then spent the rest of the session as The Mixer: making new colours for Ellie to paint with.


I’m not sure what happened in June; it seems to have been a MessyPlay-Free Zone. I do know that we grown-ups were pretty busy with house-hunting.

In July however they did some more great painting, this time in our new house. Jake was once again doing some great mixing, & I love the vibrant colours he produced!



More recently we bought a little cardboard house for them to paint & decorate, & they’ve really enjoyed it.


That deserves a post of its own though I think: sometime in the next 4 months. Hopefully sooner!

I’m linking this post up with Jennie’s ‘Messy Play for Matilda Mae’ blog-hop: for more Messy Play posts like this just click here.

Edspire  Messy Play

Saturday is Caption Day! The Masterchef Edition

We had a great messy play session on Thursday evening, at Jake & Ellie’s request.

Their creations were, variously, “a fat tummy” (too much flour), “peanut butter” & “cake”.

I was very tempted to put in 2 photos, but I resisted!

I hope to do a proper Messy Play post about it tonight, time & energy permitting.

In the meantime, what do you think? What’s going on here?

As ever your witty comments are much appreciated!


Then click the little boy’s head for more: enjoy!

Saturday is Caption Day: Little House on the Scary?


So is anyone else thinking “scary movies”? Captions please!

Our usual host Mammasaurus is STILL on her hol’s so the SatCap linky is today being hosted over at “Cake Photos Life”.  Just click the link to see more SatCap posts or to join in. And, as ever, have fun!

The Puddle & the Pens

1-DSC00592Ellie wanted to draw with colouring pens on the muddy puddle that she & Jake made.

She asked if she could & we said (definitely) “No”.

She argued.

“So why ask?”, we didn’t say.

“Ellie”, we did say, “if you try to draw on a puddle it won’t work & you’ll ruin the pens”.

She argued again.

We repeated the above, trying to make it more simple.

She argued some more.

So we put our collective foot down: “If I see you doing that I will take the pens away”.

Ellie: “You won’t see me!”

Nice try, Ellie, nice try…

Wot So Funee?

“Wot So Funee?” is a blog-hop, so for more funnies just click the pic!

What a muddy mess!

From almost as soon as they could walk, and probably before, Jake & Ellie have loved playing with water.


This morning things were a bit strange outside. There seemed to be something there…let’s see if I can remember…called – that’s it! – ‘Sun’. A little bit, anyway. And it wasn’t too windy, or cold. I believe it may even possibly be something that might be called…(thinks)…(dare I say it?!): ‘Spring’.

They carried on this morning where they left off last night: mucking about with water!


I think they were trying to create a Muddy Puddle. So please note the footwear, because – as many parents will know – “If you want to jump in muddy puddles you must wear your boots”.

It’s not as straightforward here as it was in the old house. There we had an outside tap & a big hose. Here I have to fill up the watering can from the kitchen sink then carry it the length of the house into the garden. Admittedly that’s not very far! Still a hassle though. If we were staying here I’d probably run the hose through.


The Method then seems to be pouring the water from the watering can into little buckets, then pouring the water from there onto the grass & the compost-enhanced concrete. And they take turns, which is good. Co-operative play: what we parents like to see!


Then it’s time for some enjoyment of the fruits of their labour: jumping up & down in muddy puddles!


Oops: looks like Ellie’s got her top a bit wet! We did have to change all her clothes afterwards…


Jake decided the puddle just wasn’t muddy enough, & needed a bit more compost. After my pointing out that there was already a fair bit of dirt around in the grass he seemed to accept my suggestion that the compost should stay where it is…


Then: job done, muddy puddles made, it was time to celebrate on the trampoline!


And yes, I know: the garden is a mess. I promise to tidy it up a bit before we move!

I’m joining up with the Mummies & Daddies doing  ‘Messy Play for Matilda Mae’. It’s a blog-link, set up by the lovely Jennie in honour of her beautiful messy play loving baby girl who she so sadly lost to SIDS in February. Lots of us are making a mess for her! To see more messy play posts just click the pic:

Edspire  Messy Play

Messy Play

Jake & Ellie’s Snow White & Batman outfits, a present from my in-laws, arrived today. I expected dressing up & playing with those to take up most of the afternoon but after some initial enthusiasm, & swapping costumes, they seemed to lose interest fairly quickly. They’d just woken up from their nap, & I’m sure they’ll have more fun with them another time.

What they really wanted to do was messy play. So messy play they did!

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I love how seriously they seem to take it, & the concentration they give to it.

It also highlights how different they are. As before, Jake was talking non-stop, chattering away in his cute but often hard to understand way. Ellie was all quiet, seemingly methodical, focus.

The main thing is that they both really enjoyed it & several times asked for top-ups!

I hope we can do more & messier play in the future, especially if / when we move to a home with more space as we hope.

I’m linking up with Jennie’s ‘Messy Play for Matilda Mae’ blog-link, set up in honour of her beautiful messy play loving baby girl who she so sadly lost to SIDS in February. Lots of us a making a mess for her! To see more messy play posts just click the pic:

Edspire  Messy Play

Saturday is Caption Day!


Got a witty, profound or just plain silly caption for this picture? Then leave it in the comments below!

Then click on the little boy’s head here & you will be magically transported to the funsome Mammasaurus’ blog for many more pictures crying out for a witty / pithy #satcap caption.

The Gallery: Together

Jake & Ellie


Conceived Together


Born Together1-DSCF2720DSCF2772


Babies Together

Learning Together


Christmas Together

Um, I'm pretty sure it's cars you're meant to put in there, Ellie. But sure: we could try the big squeezy ball!

Crawling Together


Shopping Together

Holding up the wall TogetherDSCF5016 (2)Laughing Together

DSCF5333, Babies riding in laundry basket

Exploring Together


Being happy Together


Playing Together


Eating Together

IMG_0181 (2)

Plotting Together


Cooking Together


Not moving Together


Kissing Together


Perching Together


Holding hands Together1-At Peter's

Being serious Together


Being silly Together


Cwtching Together


Best Friends Forever Together!1-DSC00456


This post is part of  ‘The Gallery’ at the ‘Sticky Fingers’ blog. For more Togetherness click the pic: