The Benefits of Messy Play

Messy play can be something that we avoid doing at home with our children for fear of the mess, however Messy Play is extremely beneficial for your child. Today, we are going to be looking at the benefits of this activity and how good it is for your child’s development.

Curiosity/Imagination
Messy play consists of a variety of objects, such as paint, glue, glitter and sand amongst many others.
Letting a child play around with messy objects has the advantage of letting your child run wild with their imagination. Unlike physical toys, which are mainly restricted to a single function, there are no limits to messy play. Your child can experiment with raw materials and go crazy with whatever ideas they can come up with.
Don’t be afraid about the clean up afterwards, let your child have their fun.


Physical Development
Another benefit of messy play how it can improve your child’s motor skills, especially hand eye coordination.
Activities that promote physical development include stacking or pouring raw materials, as well as feeling the texture of certain objects. These activities help your child to not only understand how things feel and work, but to also learn how to control their movements and develop their motor skills.


Communication and Social Development
Messy play is helpful in encouraging interaction and sharing with other children and helps them learn how to build up new relationships. Socialising with other children during messy play can help your child understand how to take turns and share, as well as learning about personal boundaries and respecting other children’s ideas.
You can take part as well. When your child is engaging in messy play, you could ask them questions about what they are doing; What colour is this object? How does this feel? With these types of questions, you can encourage your child’s thinking skills and help them learn more about the world.


Future Intellectual Skills
In addition to the previous advantages, messy play helps a child to develop new skills that they may use in the distant future.
This is where a child can increase their problem-solving skills, such as classifying how certain objects work, writing out letters in clay/plasticine, and the cause and effect of something (dropping a ball and watching as it bounces back up).
Not only is this interesting to your child, it helps them to improve on their cognitive skills, from thinking about how an object works to communicating about what they are doing.

Whilst the activity can be, literally, messy, it can benefit your child greatly. So next time you see your child playing with a messy material, let them explore and maybe join in.