That’s a Wrap on Messy Play Matters 2023

This May became a month of messy, mucky, mad fun, as Play Matters Australia hosted seven signature events throughout Queensland. From Rockhampton to Redlands, Messy Play Matters invited families and children to a free day of fun and engaging activities, which included goop, colour mixing, sand play, edible mud, and more! Each event supported and promoted the benefits of messy play – as well as the importance of all play! Messy Play Matters allowed families and children to engage together without any hassle, costs or clean-up. With some quiet events, and some loud, Messy Play Matters proved to not only get bigger, but to get better!

“I liked having different messy activities that my daughter could do that she wouldn't normally get to and I didn't have to clean any of the mess!”

(MPM: Mt Isa Attendee)


Play Matters Australia celebrated messy play with over 3000 families throughout Queensland, including Brisbane, Mt Isa, Rockhampton, Sunshine Coast, Redlands, Ipswich and Cairns. These events are more than just messy, they are opportunities to bring the community together, and to celebrate play and culture. There were many highlights to these events, including the Yarrabah Dancers at Messy Play Matters: Cairns. Play Matters Australia has been working closely with the Yarrabah community and its community stakeholders for almost four years to deliver evidence-based playgroup programs with Aboriginal 
and Torres Strait Islander families. Play Matters Australia has worked closely with Elders in communities across Queensland to inform our Reflect RAP, and support the journey to reconciliation.  It was an honour to have the Yarrabah dancers be such a significant part of our event. 


With the unique challenges of the last couple years hindering opportunities for communities, families, and children to engage in events that support connection and play, experiencing such a tremendous turn-out is a cause for celebration here at Play Matters Australia. To all our attendees, members, volunteers, contributors, and supporters – thank you!

“Just watching my little girl having an absolute blast getting messy and interacting with all the other children.”

(MPM: Rockhampton Attendee)

PMA REDLANDS 2023 (75)

Play Matters Australia promotes the importance and accessibility of play for young children and families. Play is essential to the growth of young brains and children’s development. Research shows how important the first 1000 days are, as they include the most active period of neurologic development (Schwarzenberg, S J, et al. 2018, p. 2). Many primary structures are formed during this time, including sensory systems, declarative learning and memory, and mental processing (Schwarzenberg, S J, et al. 2018, p. 2). Play experiences like Messy Play Matters caters for families with children under 6, which includes the first 1000 days of a child's life, and supports sensory exploration, problem-solving, and creativity. Messy Play Matters not only provides families and playgroups with the opportunity to engage in new and unique play experiences, it offers play ideas, inspiration, and information.

“This event was FANTASTIC! My little 18month old had the best day, as did I. I wish this event was on more often. It was so nice to see all the effort that went into making so many little souls so happy. Thank you for creating a great event.”

(MPM: Brisbane Attendee)

PMA REDLANDS 2023 (161)

Although Messy Play May has come to an end, there is always time, and resources, to engage in messy play at home, or at playgroup. Play Matters Australia are always looking for ways to support play and host a number of great resources for parents, carers and facilitators, on the Play Matters Australia website. You can find activity sheets, tutorial videos, and informative blog pieces which include great ideas for play. You can also follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and even TikTok, for regular updates or activity suggestions.

“I felt emotional seeing how happy my children were, & I got some new ideas for messy play at home, thank you for that.”

(MPM: Sunshine Coast Attendee)


Follow us today and find the next great activity to support play development (or just help bust the boredom). For now, find one of our all-time favourite (and fail-safe) Messy Play activities: Playdough Fun! Click here to download.

See more of the day's events:

7 News covers Messy Play Matters: Brisbane


7 News covers Messy Play Matters: Sunshine Coast



Schwarzenberg, S J, et al. 2018, ‘Advocacy for Improving Nutrition in the First 1000 Days to Support Childhood Development and Adult Health’, Pediatrics, vol. 141, no. 2.

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