If you’re wondering why you should go to the effort of engaging in Messy Play with your child, read on.
Messy or sensory play can help your child’s development on a number of levels. This type of creative play gives children endless ways to develop and learn. Young children rely on sensory input to learn about their environment. Research suggests that sensory play helps build neural connections that support thought, learning and creativity.
Sensory play supports language development, cognitive growth, fine / gross motor skills, problem solving / reasoning, and social interaction.
Children will experience lots of opportunities to develop their fine motor skills – squishing and squeezing can help develop pre-writing skills.
There is potential for early Mathematics by discussing size, shape, height, weight and counting and grouping of various mediums.
There are endless opportunities for early Science experiments with mixing, dissolving, temperature, and different textures. These messy activities are also excellent for encouraging a wide range of vocabulary.
Using everyday language to name familiar objects but also creative language using adjectives to describe what’s happening around them, which will help them with early literacy and creative writing later on at school.
So messy play actually has a crucial role in brain development in the early years of childhood. The brain is more adaptable and susceptible when we’re young so we have the ability to be more imaginative and creative with new and different experiences. This creativity leads to innovation and problem solving.
Research studies show a drop in creativity in young children since 1990’s. Children’s exposure to sensory play opportunities is declining. Our little ones tend to spend less time outdoors than the generations before us, and their indoor time is often monopolized by television, gaming, IPADs, or drilling academics rather than fostering important creative play skills. Even though creativity is one of the highest sort after skills that employers look for in this modern automated, computer driven world.
Messy play is not focused on producing something specific, so it gives the child the freedom to explore lots of possibilities. This sense of free play helps to develop self-confidence and self-esteem. Sensory or messy play enables the child to develop a sense of control, as there is no right or wrong way to play or create.
The role of the adult is also very important in these sessions, as although the children need to feel they have the time and freedom to create and explore, young children will look for guidance and support, so we have teaching cards and ideas available for you to help guide your child in their learning. Your reaction to the feeling of slime or dough in front of you will impact your child’s reaction, so be brave and have fun!
As well as all of that, your child will learn about sharing, taking turns, socializing, and making friends.
We have designed our sessions to engage your child and give them the opportunity to try some different things that you may not be keen to do in your own home.
It may take a few sessions to get comfortable with messy play, but the benefits are worth it.
Your child will thank you for it, if not now, in the future!
According to the International Child Art Foundation, “Research indicates that a child who is exposed to the arts acquires a special ability to think creatively, be original, discover, innovate, and create intellectual property—key attributes for individual success and social prosperity in the twenty-first century.”