Messy play, also known as sensory play, refers to activities that involve tactile exploration and allow children to engage with various materials in a hands-on and often messy way.
I know lots of mums and dads aren’t keen on it at home as it makes a bit of a mess but here are several reasons why messy play is beneficial for kids:
Messy play engages multiple senses, such as touch, sight, smell, and sometimes taste. It helps children develop and refine their sensory processing skills, allowing them to explore different textures, temperatures, and consistencies.
Fine motor skills:
Engaging in messy play activities like squishing, squeezing, pouring, and manipulating materials promotes the development of fine motor skills. These activities strengthen hand muscles, enhance hand-eye coordination, and improve dexterity.
Messy play encourages problem-solving and critical thinking as children explore and experiment with different materials. They learn about cause and effect, develop creativity and imagination, and engage in open-ended play that fosters cognitive growth.
Messy play provides opportunities for children to communicate and express themselves. As they explore materials, they can describe what they see, touch, and experience, expanding their vocabulary and enhancing their language skills.
Messy play allows children to express their emotions and experiences in a non-verbal way. It can be a calming and therapeutic outlet for releasing tension and anxiety, promoting emotional regulation and self-soothing.
Messy play can be a group activity, encouraging social interaction, cooperation, and sharing. Children can engage in collaborative play, take turns, negotiate roles, and develop important social skills like empathy and communication.
Creativity and imagination:
Messy play nurtures a child’s creativity and imagination by providing a canvas for open-ended exploration and self-expression. It encourages children to think outside the box, innovate, and invent their own play scenarios.
For children with sensory processing difficulties, messy play can be particularly beneficial. It helps them regulate their sensory systems, desensitise to certain textures, and improve sensory integration skills.
Confidence and self-esteem:
Messy play offers opportunities for children to make their own choices, take risks, and experience a sense of accomplishment. As they engage in sensory exploration and successfully complete messy tasks, they build confidence and boost self-esteem.
Fun and enjoyment:
Ultimately, messy play is just plain fun for children! It allows them to be spontaneous, explore their curiosity, and experience joy through hands-on, immersive, and sensorial experiences.
When engaging in messy play, it’s important to ensure a safe environment, use age-appropriate materials, and provide supervision as needed.
By embracing the mess and allowing children to explore and create, you support their holistic development and foster a positive relationship with sensory experiences.
So one easy way to get stuck in to messy play is by subscribing to a Subscription Box, There are lots of really great subscriptions boxes that are bursting with great ideas & activities from arts & crafts to gardening to eco friendly projects.
Click on the link to find out ways to handle the mess!