Besides all the goo, mud, paint, slime and whatever else you choose as part of your messy play activities, it is an important part of early education. Offering many different opportunities for learning it is crucial to foster growth in early years. Below we have highlighted relevant areas of development to give you ideas and tips into this area of play.
Communication and Language Development
Messy play offers children the chance to speak and listen. Using words and gestures to share resources, explain actions and take turns, it's a great way to get children's minds focused on social interaction. Generally, they will do this without really thinking too much about what they're doing, because their minds will be focused on play and not education - A sneaking way to get them engaged if you like.
It's an idea for teachers to ask questions to trigger thinking skills. Using letters in messy activity will provoke alphabetical learning and give children an idea of language. There are many things you can experiment in this area, such as leaving letter shapes in digging pits, word cards in mud kitchens as examples.
Eye and hand coordination is a great physical benefit for messy play. You can include activities such as stacking, pouring and spooning into your session to help develop this key area of early years development. Giving children the opportunity to compare textures such as smooth, rough, hard and soft will enhance their progress also. Although not intense physical development, these areas are still something that lead to key aspects of child development and growth and should be maintained wherever possible.
Messy play gives children opportunities to build imagination and creativity through various materials. Sensory experiences are fantastic to help with creative development, leading children to respond to what they see, hear, feel, touch and smell. Generally, you will also notice them expressing feelings and thoughts whilst being creative, all part of a child's younger development.
If you're struggling to get children to associate with numbers, messy play offers great opportunities. Including counting, calculating and measurement you can spend hours allowing them to sort, fill and create objects. This can be done using mud kitchens perfectly. Allowing them to pour mud, into containers or think about quantity will only benefit their learning.
All children will get endless fun from messy play. Allowing children of all abilities to get involved in play, it really does bring out strong communication. There is no set way of using messy play to develop skills, so allow the children to experiment, you may even find they teach you about something you didn't think of, or possibly like the idea of. All forms of textures get children excited about play, having the opportunity to let loose in messiness will bring out a spark in them too!
Newby Leisure offer many great ways to get children interested in messy play. If you're looking to find out more, please feel free to get in touch: 01472 230022.
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