Narrator (Catherine Sewell, play specialist): Messy play is, as the name suggests, about a getting a bit messy. Sometimes we can feel a bit hesitant to provide an opportunity for kids to get messy but we need to think about the fact that they need to understand the world through their sense of touch, and often that means getting a bit messy.
Adult 1: You’re filling up the jug and pouring.
Narrator: So I’ll take you through some examples of messy play materials. Water. Sand. Dirt and mud. Paint and playdough. Clay is wonderful. You can add objects to the messy play, so to the mud or to the sand, so try putting different containers in.
Containers with holes or different sized containers. Scoops and spoons. So, then we’ve got kids practising all of these fine motor skills and very careful hand-eye coordination that happens with containers and stirring, and then all of the pretend play that can come with that too.
One really fun thing to do is make slime. Slime is an amazing material that they can get their hands gooey with. There’s all sorts of recipes and some of them are super simple and really natural. On a hot day, there’s nothing better than getting outside and playing with a bit of water. A little spray bottle. Mists of water can be really lovely, or splashing, or pouring water from container to container. Of course, we always need to supervise children around even quite small amounts of water, but this is one of those games that you can sit by and watch or join in on.
Another easy way that kids can have a bit of an experience with sensory play and getting a bit messy is helping you with the cooking. Perhaps there’s a little bit of leftover that they can do some extra mixing with, or even just the experience of helping you to stir the pot. That is a sensory and messy experience for them, and they’ll get heaps out of it.