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Messy Play in the Bath

I have said it before: I am not a fan of messy play. I still want my children to grow up having fun and getting opportunities to get dirty just for fun.

My mum bought them finger paints and stamps in the summer. I was dreading the time they would ask to play with them to be honest. As they asked paint the bath on Thursday night, I thought those paints would be perfect! I let them paint the bath before and they loved it!

Messy Play in the Bath - Finger Paints

I gave them the paints, the stamps and three paintbrushes.

Messy Play in the Bath - Stamps

After they got undressed, they went in the empty bathtub, with instructions to paint the bath only, not the whole bathroom!

Messy Play in the Bath - Painting the Bath

As they were washable finger paints, I was not worried about them getting paint all over themselves.

Messy Play in the Bath - Messy


They had the time of their life, and even painted each other!


Once they had had enough, I have them soap to clean themselves as well as the bath and I rinsed them quickly.

We then filled the bath, adding lots of bubble bath to end on a fun not and make sure there was no paint left anywhere. Apart from a bit of soap in their eyes, it was all giggles and smiles!

Messy Play in the Bath - Bubbles

It was simple, improvised fun and even though it was a particularly messy activity, it did not leave anything for me to tidy; just a shiny bath and three clean kids!



  1. adeline
    06/10/2014 / 8:42 am

    Là MOI JE PEUX PAS, MËME DANS LA BAIGNOIRE!!!, je te jure rien que de le voir j’ai envie de nettoyer!!!!! voilà qquns de mes tocs. Quand Léa était malade la psy avait dit:” laisser la jouer avec la nourriture, ça doit redevenir un jeu, un plaisir” mais je peux pas, même dehors, faut que je débarbouille!!!!

    • Mel
      06/10/2014 / 11:20 am

      Oui mais bon, jouer avec la nourriture, c’est autre chose. Je ne pourrais pas les laisser faire (faut pas pousser!), et puis dans le bain, tu ne peux pas, il n’y a pas de baignoire chez toi! Il faut que tu essaies dans la douche, Léa adorerait (et puis elle te la nettoiera avant que tu la laves!). xxxx

    • Mel
      06/10/2014 / 10:25 pm

      Same here. They did have a lot of fun and there was no mess in sight afterwards!

  2. Karen Bell
    06/10/2014 / 11:16 am

    Wow, I bet they enjoyed that! It looks like so much fun. We’ve not tried painting in the bath before, but is a great idea. #MagicMoments

    • Mel
      06/10/2014 / 10:28 pm

      They loved it! We had done it before and they kept asking me to do it again. It was a nice treat for them!

  3. Sara (@mumturnedmom)
    06/10/2014 / 2:22 pm

    Fabulous! We haven’t done this for awhile, and the last time was with shaving foam paint 🙂 I have some bath paints which I keep forgetting about, must find them x #MagicMoments

    • Mel
      06/10/2014 / 10:39 pm

      Go on, look for them, Sara! The kids will love it.

  4. seychellesmama
    06/10/2014 / 3:34 pm

    What a great idea Mel! You know about my bad experience with messy play haha so this might well be the future!!!

    • Mel
      06/10/2014 / 10:42 pm

      It is as messy as messy gets, but as easy as it can be to clean: they do it themselves happily!

  5. thenthefunbegan
    06/10/2014 / 3:44 pm

    Brilliant idea Mel! I wish I’d thought of that. My kids also love washing things down too so that’s win win! 🙂 X

    • Mel
      06/10/2014 / 10:44 pm

      It is, isn’t it?

  6. lystramaisey
    07/10/2014 / 4:28 pm

    Hello there, I understand what you mean about messy play but I think this looks pretty good-especially painting each other! Maybe this could be something from Father Christmas-perfect for the gloomy winter months! x #magicmoments

    • Mel
      22/10/2014 / 11:10 am

      Last year, I had this as one of their advent calendar activities and they really loved it, especially the first time as they did not expect me to allow them to paint the bath… or themselves!

      • lystramaisey
        22/10/2014 / 9:28 pm


  7. liquoriceuk
    07/10/2014 / 8:27 pm

    That’s a brilliant idea – never thought about doing something like that in the bath. We did footprint painting in the garden in the summer and used the paddling pool to clean off in afterwards which made it so much less stressful for me! Will have to try getting out the finger paints in the bath – Jessica would love it! 🙂

    • Mel
      08/10/2014 / 6:39 am

      I love your idea of footprint painting in the garden. We will be doing that next Summer! X

  8. The Free From Fairy
    08/10/2014 / 11:15 am

    OK! Brilliant idea! I hate mess too…it is very hard when you have kids though isn’t it? I try my hardest not to let it stop them doing things but there are a few things that I have to put a stop to!!! This is great though…I could cope with mess in the bath…although knowing my two they would have the whole bathroom covered!!

    • Mel
      09/10/2014 / 8:46 pm

      I know, it is incredibly difficult to keep things under control! You think you have a room sorted to realise they have smeared chocolate all over the walls next door, and written on their arms and legs with permanent markers…

  9. Viv'Maman_Bas
    08/10/2014 / 1:00 pm

    Ah ça me tente bien ça… Sachant que c’est pas trop mon truc non plus le messy play avec ma moquette beige partout (qui morfle tous les jours…). C’est de la peinture spéciale ? Les enfants adoreraient !

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