what is the improtance of messy play?

So what is messy play? Why is it important to expose children to paint? And what is its purpose?

Many parents dislike letting their children get sooooo messy… But consider this: would the knowledge that your child is learning, playing and developing make the messy stains are worthwhile?

Did you know that when your child engages in messy play, they are gaining experiences that they don’t gain elsewhere and that, strange as it may seem, most children gain a lot of enjoyment from exploring these new tactile, messy sensations!


Messy activities may include:

–        Mud Kitchen fun

–          Shaving foam creation play

–          Play dough making and creating

–          Sand & water

–          Small world food play with cereals, pasta, rice, beans

–          Cooking yummy treats

–          Cornflour slime play

–          Mud kitchen (making mud pies)

–          Soap flakes


As you can see from today’s activity held within the 3years and over age group, the children have very much enjoyed exploring the ‘saving foam and creation messy play’. The theme of learning for August at Little Learners is ‘colour’ and so during the activity, the practitioners were promoting the children to mix colours in creative ways using tools, name colours we are playing with, repeat colour names back to staff and of course, get very messy!

The main objectives of messy play:

1)    To explore age-appropriate activities related to the early year’s foundation stage

2)    Develop creative and sensory skills in children as well as encouraging personal preferences and interests

3)    Explore and experiment using all the senses and help children to understand what our different body parts are used for!

4)    To expose children to a wide variety of textures through playing with unfamiliar and unusual materials

5)    To develop a healthy relationship with food

6)    Improve hand and eye-coordination through feeling textures and gripping using fine motor skills

7)    Develop language by expressing emotions to communicate thoughts and findings to peers and adults