Messy Play Kits

Why Messy Play?

Children learn best when they actively engage with their environment and use all their senses. Young children are in a very concrete stage of development—they need to SEE and FEEL their world in order to understand it. By engaging in sensory play combined with skilled adult partners, they learn about a variety of textures, materials, and properties in the concrete manner they understand best.

Through Messy Play kits and activities, children will:

  • Engage with a variety of textures and materials
  • Learn about material properties and how they change (such as soft, sticky, stretchy, bubbly)
  • Develop cognitive skills (problem-solving, cause and effect)
  • Math skills (counting, shape identification and matching, timing)
  • Science concepts (physical properties, gravity, basic chemical reactions, predictions and observations)
  • Social and emotional skills (sharing materials, group problem-solving, decision-making)
  • Language abilities (learning new words for materials and properties)
  • Responsibility and self-control (having to participate in set-up and clean-up, following rules and limits)
  • Fine motor skills (pinching, poking, grasping) all help develop the muscles to hold a pencil and write properly
  • Creativity (using open-ended materials allows room for creativity and builds self-confidence)

Instructions are included in each Messy Play Kit. See the Tips page for ideas on how to support your child during Messy Play adventures.