I have been running Messy Play Sessions for three years, I have met hundreds of parents and children and seen lots of brilliant ‘wow’ moments. I thought I would write down what I believe are the most significant benefits of messy play. Here are my top three;
1) The ‘lightbulb’ moments; the absolute best part of my job is when I see a child discover something brand new and super exciting. Whether it be that two colours can mix together to make a new one or they touch new material they never knew existed. The reaction is brilliant. A big smile, sometimes laughter, wide eyes and then a look towards their adult to share the excitement with. For me, the best thing about messy play is providng the opportunity to learn, to discover and explore, especially by having fun!
2) Gaining confidence; many children that come to a Messy Play Session, especially those who come along for the 5 week blocks, start out clung to their adult and afraid of all that is going on around them. Of course this is totally normal as they are in a new environment with lots of people and activities that they would normally be told not to do. But what is fantastic is to see the significant change that take place over the course of 5 weeks. Parents have said they have been truly shocked at the difference in their child, some became more positive about new textures and materials, others learnt to share and play alongside other children, one picky eater got so excited about with trying new things he began trying new foods at dinner time too, wow!
3) Playing together; life is so busy, keeping children fed, watered, clean and safe leaves very little time to play. Not only does messy play encourage children to play but at Messy Play Sessions it is wonderful to see adults getting to share the new experiences with their little ones.
Of course they are many more reason to love messy play and see its benefits. It helps physical development, encourages speech development, and enables creative development. Are any of these the reason you brought you child to a Messy Play Session? Or did I miss your reason out? I would love to hear your thoughts and experiences.