Messy play is great for young children and helps them develop so many areas. It encourages lots of talk; great for developing their speech and language development.  It develops fine and gross motor skills in such a way that possibilities are only restricted by what the child wants to do with it.  They are free to explore the various types resources that can be used in messy play and there is no right or wrong way to do it.  Messy play can literally begin as soon as your baby is sitting up and can be enjoyed for years and years to come.  This particular post is not too messy at all so if you’re a beginner to this ‘messy lark’ then this is a good one to start with! Smile

There is a messy play section you can view here or for specifics, see links below.  Messy play can literally involve anything and we regularly play with things like:

The list could go on…

Today, I used a messy concept and turned it into a small world role play: a car wash as J is currently fascinated by them.

We used:

  • four of J’s cars
  • car mat
  • three toothbrushes
  • bubbly water
  • brown paint
  • polishing cloth
  • plastic lid

Car Wash Fine Motor Play3

The car wash consisted of a plastic lid, toothbrushes, cloth and pots of soapy water.  On the lid, I wrote Bay 1, 2 and 3 in each of the ridges.

Car Wash Fine Motor Play

To ‘dirty’ the cars, I mixed some brown paint and painted some mud onto the cars.

Car Wash Fine Motor Play2

As Mummy pulled up to the car wash in various cars, J indicated which bay I should ‘pull in to’ and he surprised me by adding ‘mate!’ to his instructions! It did make me giggle!

Car Wash Fine Motor Play5

J enjoyed using the toothbrushes to scrub the cars and this proved to be a great fine motor work out and you know how much I like those!

Car Wash Fine Motor Play4

J also enjoyed polishing the cars to make them ‘sparkling clean’ as he described them.

Car Wash Fine Motor Play6

Throughout the play, J talked and talked and talked some more.  It genuinely encouraged so much language and vocabulary and J really got into character.  He enjoyed showing off his hard work and showing me just how well he had scrubbed each car.

Car Wash Fine Motor Play8

As we used toothbrushes, it was also a good rehearsal for using this complicated implement!! J loves brushing his own teeth but moving his hand in different directions so as to get a good brush of all of his teeth proves quite tricky.  Having to get into all the nooks of the cars meant J had to manipulate the toothbrush in such a way that would not be dissimilar to brushing his teeth!!

Car Wash Fine Motor Play9

Once play was over, J’s hands were rather dirty. So, what better way to wash them than scrubbing them with his new favourite cleaning implement!! J liked the texture of the bristles on his hand and this lasted for about ten minutes.  This is another bonus of any messy play; exploring and discovering new textures.  So, how about this weekend, you get a little bit messy! You’ll love it!! Open-mouthed smile

Car Wash Fine Motor Play7


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