Playground design & build specialists
10/09/2021 Blog

Messy Play for Toddlers

Messy Play for Toddlers

Most parents might find messy play slightly unpleasant, because what’s worse than your child covered in slime and sand, right? Just keep it strictly outdoors or in any room that doesn’t contain a carpet! Put the worrying aside and embrace the mess. Why, may you ask? Because it is proven to be one of the best ways for young children to develop and learn!

What is messy play and why is it so important for toddlers?

To describe it briefly, it is a form of play that engages a child’s senses. These include the mouth, ears, nose, eyes, touch, balance and movement. Children grasp through discovery and experimentation and messy play encourages them to delve into new textures and manipulate materials through touch. This type of play allows little ones to explore the world around them whilst enhancing creativity, language and learning – along with evolving an understanding and awareness for their surroundings.

With messy play, children can use their imagination freely as they enjoy a sensory experience using raw materials including sand, paint, play dough, water and more. There is no right or wrong way to do it! It is all about letting little ones play as they please whilst experimenting and observing new sensations. Whilst doing so, their self-esteem and confidence will intensify.

An advantage of getting messy in play is that it is a sociable activity, meaning relationships will form and flourish through social interaction. Children will learn to bond over the fascination of different sensations. Why not try including letters into your activity? This can be useful for developing language skills, constructing vocabulary and even enhancing speech because the image of the letters used will likely be memorable for them.

Physical ability and muscle control is exhilarated through messy play. Even the smallest of movements such as pouring, squeezing, drawing and shovelling, can contribute to a healthier lifestyle. As well as this, fundamental learning skills including fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination, are established when a toddler participates in this particular play. Learning through play is the most effective way to learn, don’t you think? More importantly, it is the most fun way!

Newby Leisure have a wide range of timber play resources that are fantastic for messy play! Check them out below…

Messy Corner Kitchen

Newby Leisure's outdoor Messy Corner Kitchen will allow children to collaborate through messy play whilst encouraging social engagement. 
Being a large play unit, children can gather around the product and let their imaginations flow.

Outdoor Ingredients Table

Children's Planting Table - Plant! Mix! Sort! Featuring 9 cubical compartments and underneath storage, the Ingredients table is perfect for green-fingered youngsters! Plant herbs, grow plants or simply just get messy. This table is a great resource to use for play and learning in early years education. A great resource for messy play, outdoor numerical practice or your school garden.

Messy Play Table

Newby Leisure's wooden Messy Play Table is designed to enhance communication and language skills whilst having lots of messy fun! Manufactured from FSC Pressure Treated Redwood Timber for product longevity, this early years resource is hand-crafted and complete with two plastic tubs, both easy to clean. Children can gather around the unit to play and create with mud, sand and water.

Thanks for reading!

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