I set myself the challenge of doing some messy play everyday during the twelve days of Christmas. I have children aged 2 and 5 who were both off from school and nursery for the full 12 days. I didn’t expect it to be easy when I started but I really wanted to practice what I preach when I tell parents messy play at home is easy and simple to do. It’s even more important at the moment as I will be running
Parent Workshops in 2018, the aim which is to get other parent’s, carers and childcare practitioners enthusiastic about doing more messy play with the children in their care.
So how did I get on?
I have to start by saying that I did fail in my challenge, we didn’t manage to do messy play on every day, however I will say that we did something on most of the days. Being on holiday meant we had more time together but it also meant that there were other fun activities happening with visitors, parties and trips to see family. I started by trying to squeeze activities in at every opportunity but found that things were rushed and not enjoyable.
Another reason I felt activity were rushed is because I started by planning activities that needed to be set up, engaged with and then tidied away…… we made Christmas Thank You cards, did a stamping activity, playdough and had a sticker bonanza.
Whilst it was great to spend the time sitting with my children, taking the time to sit and chat about their ideas and creations, many of activities were quite time consuming. I found we dedicated a whole morning to making Thank You cards, which is great when you are on holiday and it kept the children occupied but I’m not sure it is practical now we are back at work/school/nursery.
What I have learnt is that I need to create a craft box which brings together all of the stamps, stickers, card, finger paint and other easy to do crafts. Then get it out, without a specific idea about what we are going to make. Let the children decide what they want to do once they have looked inside. That way it will become much less time consuming but still just as much fun. I now plan for us to get together once a week and get the craft box out. Just one way that I can think of that will bring more fun, easy and simple messy play into our family’s day to day routine.
More reflections on my Christmas Challenge to follow……..
Messy Play without realising, how did that happen?
Messy play with Dad
What did the children think of our Christmas Challenge?