It’s a beautiful, crisp, sunny autumnal day here at Messy Me HQ, which has inspired me to pull together some ideas of fun activities to do with little ones at this time of year – most involving an element of mess…

Out and about

  • Leaf Hunting –  take your little ones to find as many different leaves as possible – see how many different shapes, sizes, colours and textures you can find.  Bring your favourites home to paint / make into collages…
  • Build a hedgehog / small animal house / bug hotel  – collect some sticks and stones and make a small den to help keep small animals warm and cosy during the colder months.
  • Blow bubbles on a windy day – take some bubble mixture outside on a windy day and watch how far and fast the bubbles travel
  • Leaf catching – stand under a tree on a windy day and try to catch the leaves as they fall to the ground – my son LOVED this and spent hours running around trying to catch leaves when he was little
  • Leaf jumping – make a big pile of leaves in the garden / park and let your little ones run and jump into the pile (making sure it’s big and soft enough so they don’t hurt themselves when they land!)
  • Autumn Treasure Hunt – go on a walk to find autumn treasures – there are so many exciting things to find at this time of year – conkers, leaves, acorns, pine cones, sycamore leaves, conker shells … Again, you could bring the favourites home
  • Outdoor painting/ crafting – there’s no reason why little ones can’t be painting outside at this time of year, as long as they’ve got enough layers on.  Here are some ideas:
    • Paint conkers / pine cones / leaves / pebbles
    • Use leaves / conkers instead of a paint brush to paint a picture
    • Create an 3D autumnal collage – with paints, glue and autumn goodies.
  • Make mud pies (if you’re feeling very brave)

Autumn Messy Play At Home


Here are some of our favourite Autumn craft ideas:

  • Leaf hand prints – turn your little ones hand prints into little leaves.  Relatively easy and a really lovely result.
  • Fingerprint Autumn Trees – create beautiful autumn trees with finger prints for leaves.  A great one for doing with little ones
  • Hedgehog Crafts – lots of lovely ideas here – my favourites are the Loo Roll & Leaf hedgehogs and Leaf Hedgehogs
  • Potato printing – cut a leaf design in a potato, dip in paint and stamp away…
  • Sensory Bin or Tray – there are so many different textures to explore at this time of year from pine cones to conkers, to leaves, acorns and acorn holders.  A quick walk outside to collect some autumn treasures, put them in a bowl or on a tray and  let the children explore the different shapes, sizes, smells and textures (keeping a watch over little ones to check they don’t try to eat anything…)
  • Leaf painting – a firm favourite and just so easy.  Collect some leaves,  paint them and press them on to a piece of paper to produce pretty leaf prints.

As always, our mats will help protect tables and floors from messy craft activities and our aprons and tunic bibs will help protect their clothes whilst creating their autumnal masterpieces.

Helen xx