Being a former childcarer I have a different messy activity for almost every day of the year. I once had visions of how I would set up these activities for Little Bear, of how the open ended exploration would provide hours of stimulating fun, of learning through messy play…one problem, Little Bear does not enjoy messy mess.
He will happily make a mess with his toys – pushing cars to every corner of the lounge is a particular favourite! He loves making a mess with water, our whole bathroom gets a wash down every bathtime! And he can just about cope with dry mess such as coloured rice, lentils, and pasta…although he does tend to pick up any pieces on the mat in an attempt to control the mess.
But real mess, messy mess, he can’t stand!!
Now I understand that for most people this would be a blessing, who in their right mind wants to cover their house in glue, glitter, cornflour gloop, and shaving foam?!?! I just want Little Bear to see how much fun it can be to get messy, and I think it’s one big thing he is missing out on by not going to nursery.
Last week we went to a messy play group with a friend. I managed to get Little Bear involved with sticking, rice, and water play but when it came to exploring the shaving foam he was very reluctant. In Australia he loved the beach, but wouldn’t touch the wet sand with his hands. In the bath he hates the fun foaming soap…so daddy uses it instead now! I know it’s normal to be reluctant to touch funny materials and to get messy, but I also don’t want to avoid these activities just because he doesn’t like them now.
At the moment, Little Bear doesn’t like carrots, but I keep putting them on his plate and encourage him to try them. One day, he will probably like them. I see messy play in the same way, keep providing the opportunity and one day he might surprise me…it’s just a bigger prep and clean up operation than slicing a carrot!
The Day Dreaming Mummy