Parents are always grumbling about cleaning sand out of shoes, playdough out of hair, and paint off clothes…not to mention the glitter…oh the glitter..
It’s a fact..kids are messy! And we at Story House Lara encourage it. 😊
When your child comes home with dirty clothes in their bag, look deeper and you’ll see:
Messy play is an important part of a child’s development and learning, this gives children the opportunity to explore the world around them, it also inspires their curiosity and creativity.
Messy play has many benefits. For example, when children are playing with slime, they are able to use their fine motor skills as they scoop up the slime, run it through their fingers and transfer it from hand to hand. They don’t realise that they are exercising important muscles which will help them with their pencil grip and letter formation as they learn to write.
Another messy activity is jumping in muddy puddles – just try keeping a child away from an inviting, watery puddle. The motion of jumping up and down into the puddle helps to develop their gross motor skills. They are using larger muscles in the legs, feet and arms which helps them to strengthen their core which supports their balance, co-ordination, and strength. It also helps with children developing their hand eye co-ordination, body control and spatial awareness.
Many ‘messy’ activities also activate a child’s sensory system which helps to enrich their sense of touch, taste, sight, sound and smell. Walking in bare feet on the beach to feel sand between the toes, water up to the ankles and breathing in the sea air is a great example. Other activities which are both messy and sensory might include colour mixing using rice and ice, a bucket filled with spaghetti worms, digging for dinosaurs through a sensory bin filled with sand or making sand foam with sand and shaving cream.
An activity that children typically engage in for long periods is playing with gloop. If you haven’t made gloop yet, then this is a must for any toddler or child to try. It is super fun and super messy.
Slowly add one cup of cold water to two cups of cornflour in a bowl. Stir until the water is absorbed by the cornflour. Add some food colouring if you like. Put the gloop in ice-cream or large containers with spoons, cups and other utensils. It’s great just with fingers on a flat surface. Watch your child explore the behaviour of the gloop, how it changes from solid to liquid depending on how you hold it, press it or let it run through your fingers. It’s also a great opportunity to use different language. Ask your child how it feels – is the gloop soft, hard, gooey, sticky, slimy or runny?
With messy play, preparation is key to minimising the clean-up. As long as you cover surfaces and allow plenty of time to play, you will have a great time together and reap all the benefits!
So, what are you waiting for? Go get messy!
About Story House Lara
Story House Lara welcomes families from surrounding suburbs including Lara, Avalon, Lovely Banks and Corio. We offer a state-of-the-art facility boasting beautifully renovated environments, spacious play areas, and modern educational materials.
For all enquiries, please contact Kristy at Ph: 03 5282 8876 or Email: [email protected]