Messy Play, Everyday!

In our busy and highly structured lives it can sometimes be a challenge to find time for some good, old fashioned messy play activities. You know, the activities where you have to debate whether to wash the clothes your children were playing in or just throw them out! I’m talking about mud play, shaving cream play, finger painting where there are (almost) no rules, playdough, sandpit play, hands-on cooking and fun little “science” experiments.

Sensory Play

It is tempting to think that these activities are being done at playgroup, childcare, Kindy or Prep so they don’t need to be done at home, but the value of having an activity repeated at home is infinite. The one-on-one/small group environment at home is perfect for individualising your child’s experiences and targeting the activities to their interests. Playing this way with your child at home also allows them the freedom to lead the activity and experiment in a way that is meaningful to them and helps them to learn about the world at their level. When you play with your child like this, your only job is to respond to them and then extend their skills, thoughts, vocabulary and create even more of those enchanting “why” questions (oh, and clean up the mess!).

Make it easy on yourself and pick up some cheap plastic serving trays (IKEA have some great ones) and use these to contain the mess, a quick hose off at the end and they’re done.
Some ideas for some sensory play activities that can be done at home include:

http://www.weekendnotes.com/play-ideas-kids/

http://www.learning4kids.net/tag/messy-play-ideas/

http://www.yourchildrenscentres.org.uk/education/messyplay/

P.S. Take photos: they will be some of the BEST photos of the montage on your child’s 21st birthday, and why not upload them – BE BRAVE!!!!

 

Kate Johns

Occupational Therapist

LET’S TALK Developmental Hub www.letstalk.org.au

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