March 25, 2021

Mess, an adults worst nightmare! However, mess is not a thought of a child. When a child is engaging in messy play experience it ignites their senses including sight, sound, smell, taste, touch, balance and movement. Exploring and experimenting through play is paramount for a child’s development. As part of our Sanctuary philosophy our Educators endeavour to foster each child’s critical thinking, encourage intellectual curiosity and provide opportunities for risk-taking.

From the moment a baby is born, and even while still in the womb, a child’s brain is in a state of constant, rapid growth. Within the first year of life, a child’s brain reaches 50% of its adult weight.  By age three, the brain has typically grown to 80% of its adult weight.  And during the first three years of life, it is estimated that a child’s brain develops 700 neural connections per second!

Through play and interactions attuned adults can support babies to develop and increase synapsis in the brain. The most growth the brain will have is between the ages of birth and five years. It is critical that babies and young children develop as many synapsis as possible to support life long learning.

Messy play is enjoyable and engaging, messy play supports the development of their senses, which is critical for learning. The freedom of messy play builds creativity and experimentation. Allowing the ability to make mess and push boundaries also helps kids build a sense of self. 

Messy play may seem chaotic, however a high level of concentration is required. As the child ponders each new discovery, they are concentrating on each sensation and working through their feelings. These are developing assessment and valuation skills.

The more kids play messy, the more you and they’ll get used to it and the learning will continue. Embracing mess as an adult shows the children that we understand their drive to make messes while also teaching them that there is a time and a place for everything, including making messes.

Remember everything can be cleaned, just as we value messy play we hope that you foster this in your home. Messes are inevitable but the benefits of messy play absolutely outweigh the mess.

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