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Messy Play Activities with our Brand Rep

17 Dec 2020 | Expert Advice and Opinions, Nursery and Early Years

Our Brand Rep, Natalie, who runs the Instagram account @mummyandthebears, has helped put together this blog filled with messy play activities and ideas, to help you provide the children with endless opportunities for learning and play!

Messy play can be lots of fun and encouraging children to get messy is great for their development too. Messy play provides a rich sensory experience which engages the senses and allows children to understand the world around them. Children love to get messy and allowing children to explore and experiment with raw materials provides them opportunities to make their own discoveries. With messy play anything goes, there are no limits or restrictions!


Marvelous Mud

Mud is an open-ended material that allows children to play at their own level and provides endless opportunities for learning and play. Not only is it great for cognitive and physical development but studies have shown that playing with mud can help to build a strong immune system too.

Try it Out – Include interesting real-world objects in your mud kitchen play like these metal goblets to create a wonderful opportunity for storytelling and imaginative role play.


Exploring Sand

Sand is perfect for messy play activities and great for developing motor skills, hand-eye coordination and strengthening muscles. Using scoops and sieves are great for working on fine motor skills and lifting containers full of sand means gross motor skills get a workout too.


Try It Out – Fill a large tray with sand and add a range of containers, wooden scoops and spoons to develop mathematical concepts such as size and capacity. Explore how many scoops will fill each container and use mathematical language to describe what is happening. Bury natural items like dried orange slices and pine cones in the sand for children to find and explore then use sieves to separate the items from the sand.


Nature Painting

Getting messy with paint is a wonderful way of developing children’s creativity and imagination. The focus with messy art should be on the process rather than the finished product allowing children to explore and create. Giving them control over what and how they paint can boost self-esteem as they learn how to manipulate and control materials and tools.


Try It OutMix up your own nature paints using flour and water and experiment with different ingredients such as fruits and spices to create a range of colours. Children will love using the pestle and mortars to grind and mix their paint whilst giving them the opportunity to test out their own ideas and explore how materials change.


If you’ve enjoyed this article, why not have a read of some more expert advice and opinions relating to all things early years?

Natalie Hartgroves @MummyandtheBears

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