Get outside and get messy with the library!

“There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing”. This famous Scandinavian saying has influenced millions of families across the globe and has become the mission statement for the outdoor education movement, which is quickly spreading across the United States. Outdoor preschools are becoming more popular every year and the library is getting in on the fun with Messy Meetups; an all-weather child-led program for the Pre-K set and their caregivers.

Every Wednesday morning the group meets at Southaven Park in the sun, rain, and even snow. Activities vary depending on weather conditions and what the children show interest in, but every meeting includes a traveling ‘mud kitchen’ consisting of a bin of dirt and a collection of child-size pots, pans, scoops, bowls and shovels. A nature-based art option is offered as well. Favorite art projects include nature playdough tree faces, rock painting and mud paint.

Messy Meetups is ‘child-led’, meaning that materials and activities are presented and the children decide how and when to participate, with guidance and supervision. Parents are encouraged to get involved and get dirty. Messy Meetups is a great way to meet other families with young children who love messy outdoor play. Often, patrons keep the fun going at the playground when the program ends, and many friendships have formed at the park.

There are numerous benefits to spending time outside with young children. They learn independence and physical skills, they practice fine and gross motor skills and they learn so much about the world around them through messy play. Here are some links to articles about the growing outdoor education movement and the benefits of outdoor learning, particularly in COVID times.

Join us for some mud and fun! Messy Meetups will run weekly through December, then monthly during the winter months, returning weekly in the spring. Be sure to register at or by calling 631-399-5151 x 260.