Creative Tuesday: Messy play

Today I would like to start a new series on encouraging creativity: Creative Tuesday. I have been interviewing other blogger moms on the subject, doing my own research and will feature an idea at a time in order to give more perspective to readers on the subject.

Messy Play

One of the greatest ways to encourage creativity is allow the child to play messy. What is messy play? It is organized or unorganized activity that allows children experiments with texture, various materials, make mess. It includes playing and experimenting with sand, water, paints, glue, rocks, marbles, glitter, grains and whatever else can create mess. Messy play is usually allowed in special areas like backyard, bathroom, sensory tubs, beach, kitchen, specially designated areas in the house that are easy to clean.  Some parents turn meal times for infants and toddlers into a messy play which allows children to learn to self-feed. However I personally don’t like food to be thrown around and away so we never do this in our household (note: no judgement for those who do – it is a personal choice!).

What does messy play promote:

1. Creativity and imagination

2. Sensory development

3. Physical development (eye-hand coordination, fine and gross motor skills, body coordination)

5. Language development (through comments and encouragement by parents/caretakers, instructions and even story telling while playing)

6. Problem solving skills

I am all for controlled messy play, i.e. always supervising my children while they are experimenting and messing around!

Here what other moms say about mess and messy play:

Amanda of Miss Panda Chinese: “We also do water play as well as messy art projects with marble, rocks, leaves, cornstarch, flour and food coloring in the yard during the summer. I think all the hands on projects encourage the children to be creative and they can use supplies that are available to them to create something fun for themselves”.

Leanna of All Done Monkey: “Embrace the mess. Realize that you, your child, your dog, and some of your belongings will get messy. Try to enjoy it rather than cringing when it happens. Think of this as a “messy space” where mess can happen, and it’s fun. If there are things you are particularly concerned about getting paint on, put them away. Best of all, move outdoors (or in a designated play area, ideally with old furniture that you don’t care much about). And make sure to use appropriate supplies – non-toxic, washable paints and old clothes. Spread out old newspapers or magazines in your work space and move anything valuable well out of reach.” ({Raising Tots} series from Love Play Learn)

Cathy James of Nurture Store, Mia Wenjen of Pragmatic Mom and Rebekah Patel of The Golder Gleam advise to allow mess!

Here are some posts on Messy Play. If you have a post to share on this subject – don’t hesitate to let me know and it will be added to the list!

Mama Smiles – Summer Sensory Play

Crayon Freckles – The Truth About Cloud Dough

Mess For Less – Finger Print Flower Counting 

The Iowa Farmer’s Wife – Outdoor Messy Playdate

Growing A Jewelled Rose – Play In the Mud

Dirt and Boogers – Halloween Water Play

Glittering Muffins – Painting Without a Brush

Kid World Citizen – Hands-On Learning: Dissecting Owl Pellets + Extension Activities

Have fun with messy play and thank you for reading my blog!

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