Messy Play

What is Messy Play?

Babies and children learn and develop through play, especially through unstructured, exploratory play. Although playing a game or playing with toys can be educational and fun; messy play focuses on exploring and experimenting with different materials and textures without any end goal. This allows young children to make their own discoveries using their senses, curiosity and knowledge.

Because messy play is exploratory there is no right or wrong way. This allows children of all ages and abilities to benefit from this type of play. Messy play supports children’s social development too, children play together, share together and it doesn’t have to rely on words. Messy play can however encourage a child’s language development for example explaining, describing textures, feelings which can allow your children to build their vocabulary.

What Happens at First Senses?

Everyone loves to get messy but the thought of all that mess and cleaning up afterwards can make it feel like such a chore. Well there is no need to worry about all that, this is where we can help. Our popular messy play sessions involve a range of messy, sensory activities for your little ones to enjoy. They cover a variety of themes and are a great way to enhance your child’s development. Sessions are suitable for children aged 6 months to 5 years of age.

The sessions are all about having fun and exploring our activities on offer, even adults can join in too!

What does a session look like?

With our sessions we offer at least 12-14 tuff trays (black trays) of sensory experiences for your children. From jelly, to rice, oobleck and much more. We also offer water and a paint station. We offer mess for the children in a progression from dry mess all the way to wet mess. Yes there is thought behind this messy madness we offer. (Take a look at some of our photos below)

Currently due to COVID-19 most of our sessions are held outdoors in our local parks or at our local community centres.


What will children learn?
Activities will support and enhance all areas of children’s development including:

  • Physical Development – activities aim to encourage gross motor skills as well as developing their fine motor skills especially hand eye co-ordination
  • Social Development – allowing children to build their confidence especially when it comes to new experience
  • Communication and Language Development – develop and enhance children’s vocabulary
  • Mathematical Development – activities encourage children to problem solve, develop their number skills and so much more!

“Play is the highest expression of human development in childhood, for it alone is the free expression of what is in a child’s soul” (Friedrich Froebel).