Falling in love with Messy Play

Hello Everyone! We’ve noticed so many new families joining our community and we love it! Welcome!!! Thank you for having us along your play journey.

I thought it might be good time to come on here and share our story. The path we took to discover messy sensory play. Admittedly, I fell into messy play when I had baby #2. My second baby made her grand entrance earth side very early into my pregnancy. It’s because of this, that we found ourselves surrounded with lots of support workers as part of early intervention for premie babies. We had a team in place of doctors and therapists focused on every aspect of development to help support me in these very formative years. All of whom had a common thread, intervention/therapy was all done through play. When we “teach” our children, the approach was always through play and it still is to this day. From learning to eat, rolling over, walking and speaking, everything was done through playful exploration and exposure to many different play scenarios. We were guided by the child and not by a hand book or calendar. This approach seems very logical, but I have to admit was not very second nature to me. It also required a change in mind set and really had to go back to basics and remind myself how to play. I also needed to acknowledge and respect the process and then results were secondary.

Then came the time when socialisation was something I saw my daughter was after. So after searching for a place for this, we found a play cafe offering, sensory messy play sessions. I gave them a try to see if this was something for us, at this stage I was still very protective of my girl as her health was still quite fragile. With the promise of small class size we finally went (my baby was a year old then), and there I witnessed how engaged my child was with the play invitations set out for her. She was working out what was around her with such attention and enjoyment. This was beautiful to me! In this scenario, she was just like every other child. Curious and playful! Needless to say, we came back and back again. I realised, I didn’t have to wait for school for my child to have access to these types of activities. I could bring her to experiences that open her up to all sorts of learning and set up our home life to accomodate this! It’s been 4 years, and here we are…

I realised that children need boundaries, but they also need the opportunity to be free of rules and just be. Having a space, such as sessions, or a park or just a designated area in the home where they know that it’s ok to try, explore and be creative in brings out so much in their play. And to be honest, not having to say “no” a hundred times over, is a blessing for myself too! Don’t get me wrong, there are times when things are a complete disaster, but I’m less stressed about it these days. I’ve given myself and my children grace. We grow and learn together. Letting go of the factors that could possibly inhibit us from trying new things and just allow us to be more present and play more!

I hope that when they grow older, they remember these times. I know I will never forget them.


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