Date posted: January 20, 2016
Play materials that are wet, gooey, slippery, and sticky can be great for sensory play. And this kind of play helps children learn about the world, introduces new words, develops eye-hand coordination and small muscle control, and allows children to practice making choices and making things happen. While this type of play is something to encourage and support, it can create a mess. And, it won’t be fun or valuable if parents feel stressed.
To prepare for messy play, Learn ~ Play ~ Imagine suggests that parents:
- Set guidelines.
- Know your limits.
- Be aware of the project before you begin.
- Know your child.
Additional tips include:
- Establish boundaries.
- Teach children to clean after themselves.
- Choose a time of day that works for you.
- Have a clean up plan ready.
- Choose supplies wisely.
- Take messy play outside.
Quite a few art projects for younger children are messy. 10+ Messy Art Projects That Will Leave Your House Clean gives hints that help control the mess.
For ideas for messy play activities, see our Let’s Get Messy: Toddlers and Let’s Get Messy: Preschoolers activity sheets. (Some of the toddler activities would also be enjoyed by preschoolers and parents.)