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The Benefits of Messy Play

How does Messy play help children learn?

· by expressing a variety of reactions: joy; dislike

· by developing their motivation to communicate with adults and peers

· by stimulating their language development

· by improving hand-eye coordination

· by experimenting with the properties of materials

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How can parents and carers help their child’s learning?

  •  playing alongside your child
  •  talking to your child about what they are doing e.g. ‘I can see your handprints in the gloop’
  • asking questions to encourage problem solving such as ‘I wonder why…’ ‘What will happen if…’
  •  extending vocabulary: pour; fill; empty; sprinkle; whisk;scoop; stir; splash.
  • listening to what they say and repeating it back to them adding a another word e.g. child says ‘yucky’ and the adult says ‘ gloop yucky’
  • following your child’s lead – let them come up with the ideas and join in with their play rather than suggesting or showing them what they do

 

What can you use for dry or wet Messy Play?

Dry materials: sand, oats, sawdust, shredded paper, breakfast cereal

Wet materials: cooked or dry pasta, gloop - corn flour mixed with water, porridge, finger foods, jelly, damp soil

Add equipment: teaspoons, yogurt pots, little scoops, sieves, funnels, metal egg cups, small saucepans, plastic jugs, wooden spoons, recycled materials.