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Fun (and messy!) activities with your kids

Kristin Chessman is a freelance writer, editor and mom from Southern California with a passion for travel, fashion, Disney, the beach, Italian food and all-things celebrity. Follow Kristin on Twitter @KristinChessman.

Messy fun for kids

When’s the last time you and your kids had some good, messy fun together? Set aside an afternoon for the entire family to wear their oldest, grubbiest clothes and get down and dirty! From water balloon fights to making mud pies, we’ve got the best (and messiest!) family fun tips. Talk about family bonding!

Girl with muddy hands

To avoid becoming the game day buzz kill, be sure your kids wear clothes that you don't mind tossing out if necessary. Also, take these activities outside and keep your water hose, and plenty of towels, handy for a quick cleanup before heading back inside. Now, get out there and have some unrestricted fun!

1Build a sand castle

Although the beach obviously is the ideal location for this activity, it can be done in your backyard sandbox. Be sure to add water to help mold the structure of the castle. Ask your little one to help by grabbing the wet sand and squishing it with their hands. For a fun finishing touch, decorate your castle with any leftover ribbon, flags, or toys you don't mind getting dirty.

2Make a mud pie

Plan to get sand and mud all over your clothes before this task is complete! The perfect location to build your mud pies is your sandbox. Have a few mud toys on hand like rakes, shovels, and buckets. Simply add water to the sand or dirt in your chosen area, starting with a little water and adding more as needed. When your masterpieces are complete, have the kids round up all the toys for a good rinse. Then, spray each family member with the hose before heading inside to carefully strip clothes and soak in a warm bubble bath.

3Fingerpaint

Cover an outdoor bench or table with a cut up trash bag before starting. Then, place rolls of construction paper over the table and tape them down. Make your own fingerpaint with sugar, cornstarch, liquid dishwashing soap, and food coloring, or mix it up by using chocolate pudding instead!

Quick TipRemember that all stains are different. What works on one stain won't necessarily work on another. Don't forget to carefully read the care label on your clothing before treating. Also, before using a stain remover, test it in an inconspicuous place. If the fabric color changes, don't use the product on that fabric.

4Egg toss

Pair off your family for a traditional favorite. Give each pair an egg, and have the teams stand across from their partner in two straight lines. Start at about four feet apart. Have your leader announce when it's time to toss. If the egg breaks, that team is out until the next round. If it doesn't break, one partner takes a step back. Continue until only one pair remains standing with an uncracked egg.

5Water balloon fight

For a (dirty) twist on your typical water balloon fight, fill the balloons with condiments before adding water. Try squeezing ketchup, mustard, and chocolate syrup in each balloon. Set the balloons in several kiddie pools, and let the games begin!

Quick TipSay buh-bye to chocolate! First, wait for the chocolate to harden. Then, use a spoon or butter knife to gently remove the chocolate from the affected garment. Next, use a dry-cleaning solvent for washable and dry-clean only fabrics. Place a white rag beneath the stain, then apply the solution directly on the chocolate. Blot the stain with your finger, then rinse with warm water and repeat if necessary.

6Blow bubbles

Young children love blowing bubbles. Pick out fun-shaped bubble wands to make the craziest and zaniest bubbles. For a bubble recipe that won't result in red eyes use baby shampoo, water, and light corn syrup.

7Have a burlap sack race

Find a park or large field for the perfect potato sack race. For younger children, allow both feet inside the sack or pillowcase. Teens and tweens can pair up with another child by placing one foot each inside the sack. Be prepared for grass stains after this high energy, hilarious game!

Quick TipGet out the grass stains! Your best bet is to immediately treat the stain with a stain stick. Simply apply the stick to the grass stain, then blot into the stain. Wait at least one minute before washing.

How to get the "fun" out of your clothes


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