Getting Messy with Play

Sensory Play for Kids

In todays world, we are slowly slipping away from allowing are kids to get messy through play. Some of this can be linked to how busy our world has become and we don’t have “time” to clean up the mess or it might be our own issues with mess; ha ha. Either way, I say embrace the mess with your kids in order to open up the doors for creativity, fine motor skills and expressive language. Blogger Alanah Jade has documented a wonderful messy and sensory filled play idea below; enjoy.

I am so thrilled to have been asked by Angela of Finlee and Me to write a guest post on her website. I have known Angela for 3 years now, ever since we introduced ourselves while sitting in a circle surrounded by women who were all sleep deprived, navigating the new waters of first time motherhood.

I blog over at Alanah Jade Blog mostly about life with my two boys, Otto and Hugo. Once a week I help host a messy playdate with some friends.  We have found that since our second children have come along it is much easier to continue doing this in a group. There is always someone there to lend a hand if we are distracted or busy.

On this lovely Brisbane day we decided to give bottle babies a go a concept first introduced to me by the blog Happy Hooligans.

Step 1: I set up the activity, having already filled the bottle with water and added the baby oil.  Next time I would leave that to Otto. I added the scoops, glitter-shaker and tongs for gross and fine motor skill practice.  Like many boys, Otto’s fine motor skills are not as strong as his gross motor skills.

Otto helped me pick out what he wanted to add to the bottle from our craft supplies.  He is very into bugs and insects at the moment, so we added a few of them which provided an interesting challenge for him.

Step 2: The glitter sprinkles were added first, and I was amazed at Otto’s patience while sprinkling them into the bottle.  As an aside, next time I wouldn’t add the glitter with the baby oil.  The glitter has stuck to everything in the bottle, and in big clumps so it doesn’t sparkle through the bottle like I thought it would.

Step 3: Next up was the food colouring. I ordered these pipettes on ebay, and we have used them in so many different activities, but also great for hand eye coordination.

Step 4: We then got down to the very important task of placing the items inside the bottle.  The bugs required a fair amount of thought as they didn’t just slip right in.  They had to be squeezed, manipulated and pushed into the opening.

The jewels were placed into the bottle using a scoop.  Otto displayed lots of patience and concentration with this step; very diligently placing them in the right spot so they wouldn’t fall out.

Final Result: This was such a success.  It took Otto a long time to put all the bits in and he was happy to talk about the different textures of the objects as they were going in.  We also spoke about how some objects floated and others didn’t, and how the glitter reacted with the baby oil.

Overall this is one of the easiest and yet most effective activities we have done in a while, and one I will absolutely be doing again.

If you like this idea then be sure to check out our Idea Boxes for Families which include: Idea Box: Science, Idea Box: Activities for Kids or our Idea Box: Quiet Time.

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