If you're looking to do a simple activity that is likely to be a big hit, just grab some knee-high nylon stockings, rice (for filling stockings), paint, a tray, and some paper on a flat surface!
Here is how we set up ours "Splat Painting" yesterday.
You'll need a dropping location to be elevated above the landing paper.
As you can see here, the children are learning so very many things through this play!
They are learning to take a risk by jumping in and giving it a try.
They are learning a bit about gravity.
They are working on development of their gross motor skills.
They are learning to think creatively.
They are learning to navigate social settings and learning to work with others.
They are learning how the paint "splats" differently from the ground level...
...which ties in with their discovery of how the paint behaves when stopped from moving at a high velocity.
So the next time you see children "just playing", consider what all may be at work in their minds.
If you see additional things these children are learning, please feel free to comment below. We would LOVE to hear from you!