So I’ve been wanting/meaning to blog for a while now but somehow its never happened. My son turned 1 last week and I thought if not now then never…so here it goes. I am by no means an expert, I’m a first time mom, learning on the job. But I see and hear so many diff. things, I just thought I’d share
For my sons birthday we had a “paint party” and it was awesome (if I do say so myself ). We live in HK and although the weather is hot (and humid) for most of the year, the majority of children’s activities are indoors. This has always left me disappointed until I found out about Artful Kids. Gail Deayton from the UK started Artful Kids. She has a beautiful site in North Point with 2 terraces. One where all the magic happens and another where you can just chill while your kids get messy and creative. S started going there when he was about 10.5 months and absolutely loved it. He quite literally threw himself into it and was covered in paint 2 mins in. So for his 1st birthday we decided to host his party at Artful Kids, allowing him to do what he loves! It was so interesting to see kids who aren’t used to this sort of unstructured messy play getting so involved and enjoying it.
It got me thinking about why messy play is so important? It brings out children’s creativity, curiosity and concentration. It offers an opportunity for sensory exploration. Utilising the senses, it allows children to learn through many different ways. It is through the skin that children experience the most sensations. That’s why you’ll often see a child rub paint on his fingers, or glitter across his arm or bend forward and lick something off the table; they are constantly exploring using their sense of touch.
In Hong Kong there is def. an emphasis on being clean and sanitised. Most classes offered (and there are lots!!!) are results-based; languages, sports and music trump play with its less tangible results. But the way I see it, kids are cleanable. That paint is not going to stay on them forever, it’ll come off their faces and their clothes and you’ll be giving them a great foundation for later learning by igniting their curious nature.
So what do you think, would you let your child get messy through unstructured sensory play or would you prefer to put them in classes that are cleaner and more results based?