There are a lot of BIG benefits that come from allowing your child to get messy. Through messy eating and messy play, children are able to strengthen and develop important sensory, creative, and gross and fine motor skills, to name a few. While many type-A parents might be reluctant to pull out the finger paints, or let their child go hands-first into a big bowl of spaghetti, we promise the benefits of sensory play outweigh the mess. Check out these 5 easy, messy activities for kids.
- Let Them Eat! Eating is one of the very first ways your child will engage in messy, sensory play. Once your child is introduced to solid foods, provide them with the opportunity to explore the various textures, temperatures, and colors of the food world. Not only will this encourage a healthy relationship with food, it will help your child strengthen their senses, promoting a wider tolerance to textures.
- Get Outside. The great outdoors provides so many opportunities for messy play. Outdoor messy play ideas can include; playing in the sand at a local park, jumping in puddles (or even better, mud) after rain has fallen, painting rocks or the sidewalk with outdoor paint, and the list goes on. Not only will your child enjoy exploring various textures, they’ll also grow an affinity for the outdoors.
- Craft Time! Break out the butcher paper and washable paints for some messy fun! Encourage children to use their fingers and hands to create a masterpiece with various colors. Once children get older, get creative by creating textured paints with shaving cream, rice, or sand.
- JELL-O! Have any expired Jell-O laying around the house? Whip up a batch in a big Tupperware, add some plastic dinosaurs, and let your child have fun excavating the items out. This is a fun, sweet way to explore new textures.
- Time for a Bath. After you’ve done all of the above activities, it may be time for a bath. Provide your child with cups, spoons, or other household items and allow them to splash, dump, and explore the water. While this may not seem like the messiest of activities, it provides a great deal of sensory benefit to your child!
The Little Gym is also a great source of play in general for kids! Find a local The Little Gym near you.