The Benefits of Outdoor/Messy Play using the Team Building Table from Newby Leisure
Written by Sheila O’Reilly
We have been making the most of the drier, brighter days with lots of playtime in the garden recently. My two girls are five and eight years old and they love nothing better than messy play at their Team Building table from Newby Leisure (and I love it too when the mess is kept in the garden).
There are so many benefits to getting your children outdoors for messy play and the Outdoor Team Building table is the perfect resource for hours of open-ended fun!
Outdoor garden play is wonderful for developing creativity and imaginative play. My girls absolutely love role-play activities where they pretend to make and serve food in their ‘café’. Since their Team Building table arrived, I have been treated to numerous mud pies, sand biscuits and colourful beverages!!
Some of the benefits of messy play outdoors include:
1. Children develop oral language and communication skills by talking about what they are doing, answering questions about how they are making mud pies etc and communicating with their friends/siblings through role-playing games.
2. There are lots of opportunities to develop literacy skills through writing recipes for mud pies, creating menus for a cafe and drawing letters in sand or mud.
3. There are lots of opportunities to develop gross and fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination through using tools like tongs, spatulas, whisks, forks and spoons, transferring and transporting ingredients in different containers like pots, pans and jugs.
4. Opportunities to develop maths skills and concepts including Number- counting the ingredients being added to a mixture, matching numbers to quantities, Measure - measuring water to be added, weighing ingredients. Money - using money in a mud kitchen cafe. Colours - exploring colour mixing using food colourings is a favourite!
5. Opportunities for social and emotional development through sharing and taking turns, role-playing everyday scenarios and developing confidence by creating their own games.
6. Lots of opportunities for STEM play and exploration.
7. Encourages experimental play, allowing children to investigate, problem-solve and make their own discoveries.
8. Sensory play provides children with opportunities to explore different textures, colours and properties. Some of our favourite sensory bases include water beads, kinetic sand, chickpeas, soap bubbles, slime, coloured rice and mud of course.
The Team Building table can be the setting for all sorts of play depending on the equipment added to it. For example, it can be a science lab, a fancy restaurant, a small world set up or an ice-cream shop!
The possibilities for play and learning are endless with open-ended resources. And of course, the best part of open-ended resources is that your child won’t get bored with them!
Every day brings a different child-led play and learning experience for my rascals 🙌 😍.
Thank you for reading!
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Shelia wrote this beautiful blog after receiving Newby Leisure's Team Building Table for her children to engage in messy and creative play!