As a modern mum I feel obliged to take up every activity, initiative, scheme and loyalty card going. As a full time mum I felt the pressure to make every single minute a Disney moment during our half term together. As it rolled around I found myself scrolling through my newsfeed to slot in those all-important activities which claim to have several benefits and keep mum and baby busy for an hour or two.
I landed upon ‘Rumble in the Jungle’ a messy play session with a jungle theme. Whilst immediately questioning my outfit that day and Jonah’s’ outfit that day, I booked. In an attempt to appear a regular messy play goer I of course began to google and research what this was all about and exactly what I had got myself into.
Messy play in fact does boast many benefits to a child’s development, understanding and experience of the world around them and their speech and communication.
Here are 5 benefits of Messy Play discussed in an online article – www.greenspanuk.co.uk
Messy play is a great stress buster. It’s important that children learn to deal with stress, however it’s hard to explain to a child how to deal with an abstract problem. You cannot physically see stress, you cannot hold it in your hands, but that’s where messy play comes in. Play dough is a great stress busting tool.
Play dough play can be quiet or vocal and it can be done alone or with other children.
The need to learn key motor skills is an essential. Running, getting dressed, eating… the list goes on. There are so many messy play activities that can help a child with these skills! From sand and water play to clay modelling. It is the best way to see how things work.
No child can play wrong, and especially when it comes to messy play. Arts and crafts with glue and glitter and dried pasta- basically anything that can be used to make something else. The popular go to craft activity is mud or sand, pasta jewellery or paper hats. Let them decide what colours go together or what material to use and watch them express their interests and demonstrate their talents.
Messy play is perfect for conversation and communication as it isn’t guided by adults! There are no strict rules when it comes to messy play which in turn leaves them talking to their peers about what they are doing. They can discuss what others are using to get the desired effect.
One thing children tend to struggle with is textures. It is often the reason why they do not like certain foods or refuse to try them. This is commonly taken with them through their lives, sometimes as far as adulthood! Expose them to as many different textures as possible during messy play, try just with touching the different textures but if things go well try with foods!
No child can play wrong, and especially when it comes to messy play.
Emma Beardmore is the founder and owner of Just Jonah. Wife to Lewis and mother of Jonah, Emma's passion is all things kids, and she loves nothing more than family time.