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Why to let your baby get messy (and ideas for messy play)

Making cute crafts or playing in a sensory bin sounded fun at first, but the reality of paint, rice, pasta and toys getting everywhere, and the cleanup operation puts many parents off of messy play. However, many studies have shown that messy play (or sensory play - both are used interchangeably) is one the best ways for babies to learn.

Messy play fosters curiosity, imagination and exploration

There is no right way to carry out messy play, it is all about letting your baby explore different objects and materials without any end goals to restrict them. 

Messy play encourages communication and language development

Your baby might not be able to describe things verbally yet, but messy play allows him to share his discoveries in different ways through the use of objects and gestures.

Messy play promotes physical development

Babies can play with tools (cups, spoons, bowls) to develop and practice their fine motor skills as well as their hand-eye coordination.

Messy play supports independent play 

Messy play can teach your little one he can make his entertainment.

Get involved and get messy with our messy (and not-so-messy) play ideas:

  • Get outside - play on grass and sand. Let your baby pick up leaves, sticks and flowers as he explores.
  • Make the most of mealtimes - Allow your baby to feel, smell and taste their food to engage all of their senses.
  • Make bath time playtime - water is one of the best natural materials to play with so why not add some sponges or empty plastic bottles and allow your baby to play.
  • No beach? No problem! - if possible, invest in a sandpit or make some taste safe sand (link to activities once done). Sand invites you to dig, pour and eventually build. 
  • Explore your pantry - get rid of stale cereals, old pasta and overripe fruits & vegetables - anything you can crunch, mash or manipulate.

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