Before your child turns 2 years old, you will more than likely be introduced to Messy Play. When they are ready for this stage of play, they will show you that they are ready by creating mess, such as playing in eggs or baby powder.
Once your child is interested in getting messy, their play preferences will transform rather quickly.
Organising ample opportunity for mess will reduce the amount of mess that your child will make for themselves. That is, if you give your child the chance to get messy, they are less likely to pour your expensive perfume down the drain.
Messy Play has endless benefits for children.
Being in close contact with nature is beneficial to their emotional well being. Being grubby outdoors increases attention span, decreases nervous energy and releases anxiety.
Messy Play helps children fine tune their small and large muscle skills, their problem solving and practice early mathematics skills.
Children don't need your assistance in learning how to explore and manipulate mud, water, sand, paint, goo or slime. This comes naturally to children.
Knowing that they can do things on their own boosts their self esteem and their belief in their own abilities.
Mess comes naturally after rainfall, or while gardening. But man made mess is just as fun. Try letting your child eat with their hands, splash about in some shaving cream or finger paint. You will be amazed how joyful mess can be once you relax and enjoy the experience.
Cleaning up after mess is educational as well as enjoyable for children. Outdoor mess is easily hosed clean, hand your child the hose and they can practice their aiming skills.
Indoor mess is best wiped or mopped clean, very young children like to wipe up mess with a cloth. Its especially fun if you make "vroom vroom vroom" noises as you demonstrate how to wipe with the cloth. They will be vroom vrooming around in no time, practicing their life skills.
Cleaning your child is easiest in the bath or shower. But its more fun to wash them up in a tub or large bucket full of warm soapy water. Both indoor or outdoor, your child can learn how to wash themselves and have a good splash about. The more fun they have, the longer they soak, the cleaner they get.