Sensory play is an important aspect of childhood development, as it engages all five senses and helps children to explore the world around them. Sensory play activities can help to improve children’s cognitive, social, language, and emotional development. In this blog, we will explore some messy, whole-body sensory experiential ideas and discuss the benefits of messy play. We encourage you to try these activities and ideas at home with your children!

Messy Play Ideas:

  1.  Shaving Cream Art: Provide children with a tray or surface covered in shaving cream and encourage them to create designs and patterns using their hands or tools. This activity engages both the sense of touch and sight and promotes creativity and self-expression.
  2. Baking Cookies: Baking cookies is a fantastic activity for children to develop their cognitive and physical skills. It involves measuring, pouring, and mixing ingredients, which provides hands-on learning experiences. Instead of using a wooden spoon, try kneading the mixture with your hands to feel the different textures. The best part of this sensory experience is eating the yummy cookies at the end!
  3.  Sensory Trays: Fill a container or tray with various materials such as water beads, sand, or rice and encourage children to explore and play with them using their hands and fingers. This activity engages their sense of touch and promotes sensory exploration.
  4.  Body Painting: Provide children with washable, non-toxic paint and encourage them to use their whole body to create a work of art; from their nose to their toes. This activity engages the sense of touch while promoting creativity and self-expression.
  5.  Colourful Ice Cubes: As the weather warms up, why not add some colourful fun to your children’s day? Simply drop some food colouring into the water before freezing it in the tray. Children can play with these icy treats either indoors on a tray or outdoors on the ground. As the ice slowly melts, watch in amazement as the colours blend together, creating new and unique shades. You’ll also be able to notice the cubes themselves changing shape. This activity engages the senses of touch, sight, and taste while promoting curiosity and observation.

Benefits of Messy Play

Messy play offers a variety of benefits for children, including:

  1.  Sensory Exploration: Messy play allows children to explore and experiment with different textures, materials, and sensations. This helps to develop their sensory awareness and fine motor skills.
  2. Creativity and Self-Expression: Messy play encourages children to use their imagination and creativity to explore and express themselves in new and unique ways.
  3.  Socialisation: Messy play provides opportunities for children to interact and play with others, promoting socialisation and cooperation.
  4.  Emotional Regulation: Messy play can also help children to regulate their emotions and manage stress by providing a safe and fun outlet for them to release their feelings and energy.

We believe that sensory play is an important aspect of childhood development at The Owl and the Pussycat Preschool. By providing children with opportunities to engage all their senses through messy, whole-body sensory experiences, we help them to explore and discover the world around them in a fun and engaging way. With the benefits of improved sensory awareness, creativity, socialisation, and emotional regulation, sensory play is an essential component of early childhood education.

Please contact us today to find out more about our childcare centres in Collaroy Plateau and Warriewood.