Messy Play Carnival stimulated young children’s senses
What do parents usually say during children’s playtime? A rough guess will be “stop it”, “it’s getting dirty” and “don’t let it spill”. However, YWCA Tin Shui Wai Family Wellness Centre organised a carnival for parents to get messy with their children.
Messy Play Carnival was set up with common tools and materials. For example, a maze made out of cardboard boxes satisfied young children’s curiosity. The room filled with colourful flying balloons engaged participants’ eyes and touch, and became a fantastic check-in spot.
There is almost no rule for messy play. It also encourages players to explore different possibilities to make use of the materials. During the carnival, children were provided with fragments of celery, red pepper, lotus root etc. as a replacement of brushes to paint on the paper. An innovative young child lived up to the purpose of messy play by rubbing the food brushes against his body instead of the paper.
Sensory stimulation is critical for children’s development. Playing without boundaries provides stimuli that best match their developmental stages. Actions that adults consider meaningless or even nasty may help a child to explore the environment. During the next playtime, try to focus on what your child learns, but not what is made dirty and untidy.