Many parents are put off by messy play, as although the idea of finger painting or crafts sounds fun at first, the reality of paint, glue and glitter getting everywhere and the inevitable operation clean up that follows it soon sets in. However, many studies have shown that messy play is one of the best ways for our children to learn and develop, so now is the time to embrace it and get messy!

So what exactly is messy play and sensory play? In short, it is an activity that engages a child’s senses including eyes, ears, nose, mouth, touch, balance, or movement.

According to Piaget’s theory of development, children from the age of zero to eight are in two different stages of development: the sensorimotor stage from ages zero to two and the pre-operational state from age two to around seven or eight.

In both of these stages, play through experimenting and exploring their environment is critical for development.

The sensorimotor stage from birth to two is all about using the senses to explore this brand new world. How things feel, taste, sound, look like, and how your baby moves in order to explore these things aids in their cognitive learning. They quickly learn how much strength they need to pick up a block or if something feels soft or hard.

As a child grows and enters school, this learning through play and exploring is still a vital part of their cognitive development. They build on the sensory experiences they had as a baby and toddler to produce symbols and language and other academic skills.

It is vital as educators, parents, and therapists working with children in these early stages and ages that we don’t forget to just let them play.

Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from “Serious Learning”. But for children play IS serious learning. PLAY is really the work of childhood.

– Fred Rogers

Importance of Messy Play

Fosters Curiosity, Imagination and Exploration

There is no right way to carry out messy play, it is all about letting children explore and experiment with different objects and raw materials without any end goals to restrict them.

 With raw materials such as sand, water, chalk, paint, play dough or paste, children’s imaginations can run wild and they can spend a long time exploring these, making their own discoveries, stimulating their curiosity and developing their knowledge.

With messy play, the sensory experience also helps children to understand their senses. By exploring how things feel, smell and taste, this type of play nurtures an awareness and understanding of the world that surrounds them.

Encourages Communication and Language Development

Messy play is a sociable activity, whether with family or other children, so naturally, it will enrich relationships through social interaction. As young children can’t explain things verbally, it allows them to share their discoveries in different ways through the use of objects and gestures and in order to do this, they need to think through their actions so they can communicate and will help develop their cognition.

Depending on what you make the messy play activity, you can also use it to develop language skills and encourage speech. For example, using letters in the activity helps develop an understanding of the written language, by describing sensations and textures to your children you can help them build their vocabulary and encouraging thinking skills.

Promotes Physical Development

Hands-on play also offers many physical benefits, allowing your children to develop an awareness of their body and personal space whilst strengthening their muscle control.

Activities such as pouring, shoveling or drawing in the sand help build strength in the large muscle groups at the top of the arms and it is these muscles that then enable the smaller muscles in the hands and fingers to make precise and controlled movements. In messy play, children can play with tools to develop and practice their fine motor skills as well as their hand-eye coordination, until soon they can hold a pen or eat with a fork!

Supports the Ability to Play Independently

In today’s younger generation especially, children are losing the ability to be able to amuse themselves. With messy play, we can teach them that you can make your own entertainment!

In an unrestricted play environment where there is no right or wrong way to do things, this is the perfect situation to allow your child to play how they want to. By using their own mind to plan, explore and problem-solve, they are building a self-confidence and self-esteem that will develop them as independent people.

Using Jar Melo Finger Painting Kit with Kids

If you are pressed for time in setting up messy play activities, then Jar Melo Finger Paint Kits is a perfect solution for you. In early childhood education Finger Painting is often the very first painting experience children will encounter.  As simple as it may be putting paint into trays for little fingers to play and paint with, there are numerous reasons why finger painting is beneficial for child development and learning.

This kit comes in an attractive tin box that contains easy-squeeze 60ml tubes of non-toxic and washable 6 finger paints ( red, orange, blue, green, yellow, and white), 1 palette, 6 EVA seals, 2 white baseboard, 2 seal baseboard, 1 Creative stickers sheet, 1 Safety scissors;1 glue and 1 Guidance note.

These kits comes in 2 colors – Pink and Blue and make great birthday or holiday gifts too!!

So, what are you waiting for? Enjoy getting messy!

Interested? You can buy them all here:

2 thoughts on Say Yes to Messy Play!!

  • Minali AgarwalJune 23, 2020 at 9:17 pm

    Love this article!! Even my daughter enjoys the finger paints very much!

    Reply
    • Ankita JainJune 23, 2020 at 9:55 pm

      Great write-up!! Can’t agree more on the importance of kids to touch and feel everything for their overall development. Good to see that Jar Melo has so many interesting options to offer for the same.

      Reply

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