Messy play is such a big part of childrens early learning, and there are so many reasons why we need to provide this type of play for them.
Messy play can teach children so many things, but one of the most important parts is that it can relax and help settle children who are having a hard time with separating from their parents. Some children find the texture of messy play to be quite relaxing, and they are able to chill out after a busy weekend at home.
Children learn about different textures that come with messy play, and they can describe them by using words like hard, soft, runny, stretchy.
They also learn mathematics. This is where measuring and pouring come in to the messy play. They can measure how much they can put into a cup, and pour it into another bowl or cup. This can also help with the development of their language as they are able to talk about what is happening.
Messy play also helps with the developing hand eye coordination. They can focus on pouring and making sure that they are getting it into the cup. Measuring with a scoop, where they don’t over fill the scoop or making sure when they put the scoop into a cup, they don’t miss the cup.
Messy play is best done outside with either an old baby bath, low tables or water troughs. The surface is best when it is low, has a smooth surface and flat, so the children are able to reach. It is also a great idea to make sure that you have a towel and a bucket of water nearby so that children can wash and dry their hands without going into the house.
The best part about messy play is that very little equipment is needed. The children are able to use their hands, feet, arms and bodies. If you wanted to introduce household items, such as spoons, utensils, cups, bowls and some cookie cutters. If you don’t want their clothes to get messy, it would be a good idea to wear an apron or make sure that they are wearing old clothes.
You could try making some gloop with your children. All you need is 1 cup of water and 2 cups of cornflour. Mix this together. If you wanted to add some colour, you can add a couple drops of food colouring, and this can be pretty bright. The best part about gloop is the different states of matter that they present. Have a go!