Why is messy play so important?
Messy Play is an important part of the Early Years Foundation stage, it offers many opportunities for learning.
Messy play offers benefits to all children. It allows children of all abilities to become involved and get to know other children. Children who are in the process of learning English as a second language can join in and use the materials with their peers because messy play does not rely on words. Since there is no "right way" to do messy play, children with special needs can use open–ended materials on their own.
Personal, Emotional and Social Development
Messy Play is designed with children's natural curiosity in mind. It encourages a positive approach to new experiences. There is no "right" way for children to do messy play. This builds self-confidence and self esteem. Through messy play children can develop, concentration, problem solving and plan.
Children will be given the tools to develop and practice fine motor skills and eye hand coordination. Activities such as stacking, pouring and spooning will develop eye-hand coordination. Practicing cutting, writing in crazy soap or paint and using tongs will develop fine motor skills. Hands-on activities will provide opportunities for children to compare textures such as smooth, rough, hard and soft. While respecting each other's personal space, children will gain an understanding of their own body space.
Communication and Language Development
During messy play, children will be given many opportunities to speak and listen. They will use words and gestures to share resources, explain actions, negotiate plans and take turns.
Messy play offers many opportunities for counting, calculating and measurement. The children will sort objects, fill containers and create patterns.
Children are given endless opportunities with a variety of materials to build their imagination and creativity. Through sensory experiences, they are able to respond to what they see, hear, feel, touch and smell. They will express their feelings and thoughts through colour, texture and shapes.