Why Should You Let Your Child Get Messy

Why Should You Let Your Child Get Messy

Barkha Chawla

Messy play is a great way to stimulate your child’s senses. Playing with finger paints, clay, water, sand, or even food can provide so many benefits to your child. Messy play even known as sensory play is vital to the development of a child’s motor skills, hand-eye development. This kind of play not only helps their senses but also encourages creativity, builds language skills, and encourages little ones to try new sensory experiences.

Sensory play is the kind of play that encourages your little one to learn and explore their world through their senses- sight, sense, sound, taste, and smell. Sensory play is often known as messy play, mainly because you need to get messy to activate your senses. When a baby picks up an object and brings it to their mouth, this is their way of learning about it. Their little brain then stores the taste of that object and the next time they pick it up, that object and the taste will be familiar to them.

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Toddlers don’t have the verbal skills to learn and sensory play is their way to learn new things.

Benefits of sensory play

  1. Stimulates the sense of touch - A precursor to many fine motor skills. Motor skills are an important part of learning everyday activities. It helps them develop their pincer grip as well.
  2. Exposes them to a broad set of object attributes - Like warm vs cold, rough vs smooth, wet vs dry. If you are playing with a wet sponge, they realise how a rough hard dry sponge reacts to water and becomes a soft wet smooth sponge, they are not only learning the characteristics of the said item but also picking up the vocabulary with it.
  3. Ignites creativity and experimentation - Just playing with a bucket of water and sand can help them tremendously.
  4. Increased desire to try more sensory experiences - studies have proved, that if you let your fussy eater play with food, it motivates them to try different foods which they wouldn’t try otherwise.

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Below are a few sensory activities that you can try with your minis

  • Sand & water bucket play
  • Soapy water play
  • Slime activities
  • Clay activities
  • Finger painting
  • Painting with vegetables
  • Foam play
  • Coloured pasta
  • Coloured rice
  • Texture play
  • Kinetic sand activities
  • Magnetic toys
  • Milk painting
  • Coloured ice activities
  • Pom-pom sorting activity
  • Jelly beans activity

Children as young as a month old can benefit from sensory play. It’s time to get on Pinterest and find a sensory play that is suitable for your child’s age and interests.

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