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Where Can my Child go for Messy Play?

24 June 2023

Most parents would agree that one of the best things about having a child is enjoying all the new experiences and activities that come with parenting. One of the most critical aspects of early childhood development is exploring through play. And what could be more fun for a child than getting messy? There are plenty of places your child can go and have a blast getting messy. Here are five of our favourites.

Messy play classes

If you’re not quite sure what to do, or don’t fancy cleaning up afterwards, a messy play class is a great option. It’s a safe environment where your child can explore their senses, try new activities and have fun. It’s also a social opportunity, where both you and your child can make new friends. Look online for sessions at venues near you, or ask friends if they can recommend any. 

At home

Many parents are hesitant to allow their children to do messy play at home, fearing the mess will be too difficult to clean up. However, if you prepare carefully, you can keep things under control, for example by putting down newspaper or plastic sheeting. Staying home means it doesn’t matter what the weather does and it keeps the costs down. The kitchen and the bathroom are good places - try playing with bath foam or a variety of food items with different textures. You can use food colouring to make food different colours for extra sensory fun. 

In the garden

The garden is the perfect place for messy play, as it is easier to clean than the house, and there is more variety in terms of texture and smell. It’s a great place to experiment with mud, sand, and water, as well as other materials such as leaves, grass, and flowers. You could get a sand pit, or take some old bowls and pans outside and make a “mud kitchen”. This is a good opportunity to teach your child about nature alongside the sensory exploration. 

At nursery or preschool

Nurseries and preschools are ideal locations for messy play, as they have the space and resources to accommodate it. Plus, staff are used to dealing with messy situations! Many nurseries incorporate messy play while they take care of children, as it is fun and good for their development. If your child attends nursery, you can be sure that they will have plenty of opportunities to get messy!

Out and about

There are plenty of ways to enjoy messy play, even when you're on the go. For example, you can take a trip to the park and let your child play in the sandpit or on the grass. You can also visit a beach, where your child can get creative with sand and water. And if you're feeling adventurous, you could even go camping and let your child explore the great outdoors.

There are lots of places your child can go and enjoy some messy play. Messy play is an integral part of early childhood development, and there are many benefits to it. So why not encourage your child to get messy today?

Photo by Susan (Lewis) Penix on Unsplash

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