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Mud won't hurt them - let them get dirty!
Mud won't hurt them - let them get dirty! Birute Vijeikiene

6 dirty, messy, fun things to do with the kids these holidays

THE children have spoken: over the school holidays 85% of kids want to play freely all day long.

Research by Omo, as part of their Dirt is Good campaign, also revealed 34% of parents cotton-wool their children in fear they will hurt themselves, to the extent it stops them enjoying 'real play'.

Well, we want to flip that on its head these school holidays.

The next few weeks are less about being indoors and more about having fun outside and engaging in real play, which is defined as 'unstructured, imaginative and seamlessly integrated into the everyday'.

We've pulled together six totally fun things to do with the kids - and they all involve getting a bit messy, dirty and having bucket-loads of fun.

Brush-less painting

Who needs paint brushes when you have hands and feet! Get the kids into some old clothes and outside. Set up paper or canvasses and get messy with bright colours. Create masterpieces using only body parts as the paint brush.

Create a veggie garden

Your kids will love getting dirty in the garden and creating a herb or vegetable garden for them to nurture and watch grow will have them entertained for ages - especially when they get to eat it! This also allows parents to teach kids about healthy foods and where they come from.

One in three parents cotton-wool their children.
One in three parents cotton-wool their children.

Build a soap slide

All you need is a sheet of plastic, a hose, some detergent/soap and a hill. Lay the plastic on the hill and cover it in soapy water and slide down! It's simple, but one of the most fun things you can do outdoors - and you'll have as much fun as your kids!

Jump in the puddles

When it's raining, we tend to retreat indoors. Why not break the mould and head outside next time there's a pour-down? Get your raincoats and gumboots on and head outside to jump in the puddles we so often avoid. Plus - once you get home you can have a warm bath and get into your pyjamas to enjoy a cosy rest of the day!

Make mud pies

When was the last time your children got out into the mud? Getting muddy is gross and great all at the same time, and it's the perfect outdoor activity when the rain has left for a muddy backyard. Take out some old Tupperware and make mud pies, leaf stew and all those backyard culinary delights.

Cook up a storm

Get the kids in the kitchen, aprons on and wooden spoons at the ready. They'll love learning how to bake a cake or muffins and they'll love eating them even more. Don't worry about the mess - that can be cleaned up later. Just enjoy some quality time with your kidlets! 

Omo research reveals parents spend less than three hours a week engaged in 'real play' with their children.
Omo research reveals parents spend less than three hours a week engaged in 'real play' with their children.