It’s just a bit of dirt, it’ll wash off. After all, the benefits of messy play seriously outweigh a little bit of mud, paint, glue or glitter! With plenty of research from play experts pushing the benefits, we thought it was time to share these with you. But with so many to pick from, we’ve stuck to the top five benefits of messy play to list here.
5 of the Best Benefits of Messy Play
Our kids learn through play, especially unstructured and exploratory play. In other words, they learn best when they get messy! While some parents may see being messy as a con, there are actually far more benefits of messy play including:
- Physical Development – there are many opportunities during messy play and sensory play for your child to build their fine motor skills. This is done through mixing, pouring, shaking, squirting and even measuring water or other runny messes.
- Cognitive Development – problem solving skills are developed through messy play as children need to decide how they will use their materials. Kids also learn about cause and effect too.
- Language Development – kids are introduced to new words and meanings in messy play. Gooey, squishy, cold and soft are just some of the terms they learn. Pre-writing skills are also developed, when kids learn to grasp, pour and improve their hand eye coordination.
- Creative Development – messy play is explorative and creative play. It’s when they don’t need to worry about finishing a project, so are able to express their creativity however they like. This helps to build their self-esteem.
My kids are great at this! They will often end up deviating from the initial messy play activity and create their own, alternate fun (and mess) with the materials we have been using.
- Social and Emotional Development – sensory play lets our children make their own choices, which in turn helps them to become confident and happy decision makers. Kids learn cooperative skills when working beside others, plus develop their observation skills too.
Finding Messy Play Opportunities
Messy play is all around us and we don’t just mean your kids toys on the floor. From water in the bath or sink, to playdough and paint, there are so many ways to have fun with mess! Here are a few of our favourite messy play activities:
- Sand play – cars and trucks are a sandpit must!
- Mud play – why not build a mud kitchen? Or get the entire family outside and create a vegetable garden?
- Paint play – how about trying exploding chalk paint? Or for something a bit ‘cleaner’, homemade bath paint instead?
- Food play – try making some rainbow spaghetti or how about some edible mud?
If the mess is freaking you out, relax. Wearing our Coveralls, Craft Aprons or even Overpants stops the mess in its tracks. With so many benefits of messy play, now is the right time to start. Let’s get messy!
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