Freestyle Painting


We had some glorious weather over the Bank Holiday, despite the weather forecast promising us the usual washout, so we let Little Splodge out into the garden armed with a selection of messy play materials.

Out of pure curiosity, on my part, the play was in no way directed and she was allowed to play as she saw fit.

To begin with she was very reserved and she restricted her painting to the paper

painting on paper

The play did, as I suspected it would, get progressively messier and the paint quickly progressed from being paper based to being on paper, in the tuff spot, on her skin and on her clothes (luckily the clothes she was wearing are generally reserved for messy play as they are already stained from previous paint encounters.)

paint gets progressively messy

Little Splodge also took her glitter shakers outside and decided to use these to decorate her pictures.

She does have a tendency to get a little carried away with glitter and it ends up everywhere. This was no different and a number of her multicoloured paint pictures quickly turned into single colour glitter pictures.

blue glitter picture

Allowing Little Splodge to have undirected messy play allowed me to get an idea of where her concentration level is and what her abilities are in terms of making her own choices as well as skills such as mark making and hand eye co-ordination.

As it turns out Little Splodge is pretty good at controlling her brush and mark making until her concentration slipped about 20 minutes into the play when she started to grab the paint with her hands and splat it everywhere.

We will definitely be allowing Little Splodge to have more free style messy play in the future if only to act as a marker for her abilities and progression.

Messy Play Materials Used In This Activity

Tuff Spot
Sponge brushes
Bristle brushes


Patio Pictures


We finally had a day where the Great British summer blessed us with weather that was dry but not a million degrees with too much sun. (I don’t mean to complain about our recent heatwave but when you have hair as fair as Little Splodge’s too much sun can be a problem.)

We got out onto the patio with the giant chalks we’ve had since Christmas but no opportunity to use.

It was Little Splodge’s first experience with chalk and I can honestly say she loved it.

She wasn’t completely sure what to do with the chalks at first but it didn’t take much encouragement before she realised that she could use them to colour on the patio.

drawing stars

She’s still very much in the stage where things haven’t been properly investigated unless they have been tasted and so she was very quick to ensure that the chalk got a good lick. I didn’t join in to check but it seems the decision was that the blue chalk tasted the best … and she went back for several more licks throughout the colouring session.

tasting chalk

As is usually the case Little Splodge’s interest in the chalk quickly infected her daddy who was quick to embrace his artistic side and proved that he can draw flowers with the best of them … even if Little Splodge wasn’t too impressed by the pink and yellow colour scheme,

little splodge drawing with daddy

As the colouring progressed the chalks had to take more and more abuse from Little Splodge as she got more and more excited by the colours and especially once she realised that she could use the chalk to not only colour on the floor but also her clothes and, perhaps most excitingly, her skin. Eventually, despite their giant size our resident toddler managed to break the yellow chalk clean in half by exuberantly launching it across the patio.

Luckily, this didn’t phase her in the least and she carried on playing as though nothing had happened.

Even though the pictures on the floor were mainly created by mommy and daddy the giant chalks were an excellent opportunity for Little Splodge to practice her mark making and hand eye co-ordination as well as giving us a chance to talk with her about colours.

messy play for matilda mae