Thursday, November 17, 2011

Why Messy Play is Important

Why Sensory Play is Important for Preschoolers

The above article (follow the link) really does a good job of explaining why we need to let our children get messy, and not just in structured settings but spontaneously as well.

My daughter is very much a tom-boy. She has no sense of fear when it comes to climbing on things and jumping off things. I try not to watch to closely. However, she loves to wear her frilliest dresses while digging holes in my backyard looking for dinosaur fossils! So I went to Goodwill and Savers and found some frilly dresses for next to nothing and those were her paleontologist clothes. She was happy and I wasn't cringing everytime I looked in the backyard. They lasted the summer with many washings and now that winter is rearing it's head they have been tossed in the rag bag or garbage can. They really aren't good for much else. :)

Here's how I let my daughter explore and create and imagine and learn while also keeping the mess from getting out of control. First we bought a nicely sized tote with locking lid. Sometimes I ask her what she wants to play with, sometimes I just make something and then leave it out for her to discover. Some things we've put in our tubs:
  • dried beans
  • colored rice
  • colored noodles
  • plain noodles
  • silk leaves
  • real leaves
  • candy corn
  • coffee grounds
  • cloud dough
  • water beads
  • water
  • sand
  • cedar chips
  • whole corn
  • fish tank gravel
  • birdseed
  • silk flour petals
  • acorns
  • feathers
  • flour or cornstarch or flax seed (and then add some spices, ooooohhhh smells good)
  • oatmeal
  • dirt with worms and seeds to plant
  • shredded paper
Ok you get the idea, the possibilities are endless. They become even more so when you add things to your tub. We've added toy dinosaur fossils and paint brushes, Halloween spider rings and eyeball ping pong balls, underwater lights (especially cool in the water beads), pine cones, minnows (to the water), spoons, shovels, scoops, sifters, magnets, shells, anything related to a favorite topic or the weather or holidays. I have as much fun putting these together as my daughter has playing with them. I only put one or two tubs out ata a time. When I'm not using materials I store then in gallon ziplock bags in a large Rubbermaid type tote. They are nicely accessible that way

Want more ideas? Do a google search for "sensory bins" or if you are on pinterest do the search there, you'll find lots and lots of cool ideas.

No comments:

Post a Comment