If you Google ‘What is messy play’ (and maybe you have done to get to my page?! You find a wealth of well researched, evidence based studies which tell you how beneficial messy play is for babies, toddlers and children. They explain how messy play helps children develop emotional, cognitively and socially. All of which is totally true and accurate.
But for me, messy play cannot be defined by what it is or what the benefits are but rather by what it is not. Messy play does not have ridged outcomes or boundaries. It does not tell children the ‘right’ or wrong’ way to play. Messy play does not prohibit creativity and it certainty does not given a standard or target to be achieved. Messy play does not crush individuality or impose rules.
Our children will have targets, rules and standards instilled into them throughout their schooling (I know better than most the pressure of this as I was teacher back in the UK). Messy play is a chance to help them find themselves first