My Twitter and Facebook feeds are full of people engaging in messy sensory play and as the Easter Holidays are here and I have a daughter who misses the stimulation of preschool dreadfully, I thought I’d bite the bullet and join in.
I say bite the bullet – I’m not very good at messy play. I hop around trying not to tell them off for being messy. I know, it’s messy play, that’s the point. I don’t even know why I have this problem, I am the messiest person in the world myself.
But I can see how much the kids enjoy it and learn from it so I just need to get on with it, I think, and relax.
I eased myself in gently, nothing too messy to start with and only Tori was involved (Arthur was going to play too but was so tired that he went for an epic nap instead).
It was dry and sunny (but not very warm) outside so we took advantage and played on our tiny porch. Tori had funnels, spoons, a whisk, two bowls, two balls, a rubber duck and a teddy bear jelly mould along with cups and jugs of warm water. In the jug there was a handful of sparkly coloured stars and the four cups were all slightly different, one had red food colouring and one green, one contained washing up liquid and the last one had a dash of vanilla essence.
To start with Tori tried to catch the stars with her spoon and spent a minute sniffing the vanilla one before getting stuck in and pouring them one by one into the big bowls through the funnels. We talked about how the colours changed when they mixed together, experimented with whisking the mixture to make it bubbly and tried to catch the floaty stars.
Tori then happily played away making cakes and things and chatting away to herself. She swapped water from bowl to bowl using the jug and the cups and I had to top everything up a couple of times because inevitably half the water ended up on the floor.
We blew some bubbles whilst we played, too. The Messy Play revolution is a bit of a legacy for Matilda Mae and the bubbles were a nice reminder of her whilst we were ‘busy’. Tori enjoyed chasing the bubbles around and thought the little round marks they left on the floor were hilarious.
Eventually it just got too cold, the water stopped being warm and we decided to call it a day. Tori poured away the water, helped me pack everything up and we headed back inside to warm up watching my Danger Mouse DVD.
Hopefully tomorrow it will be a bit warmer and Arthur will be more awake so they can explore together. All I need to do now is decide what to put in the bowls!