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Messy Play Or Not !


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hello,I'm just wondering what your thoughts are on on messy play!!I am a new Nursery Nurse .I have been working in a Private Day Nursery within the Pre-School room for 5 months now!!

Do you do a lot of messy play in your setings as it seems as it is a NO NO in ours!!I love to do messy play with children of this age 3-5 years old as it is a hands on experience that they particularly enjoy and engage in examples of this have been

 

-mash potato and food colouring by which children have created own designs

shaving foam with glitter

jelly and animals -which children have made own designs

porridge oats and scales-children have measured which is the heaviest

painting-creating 3d junk modelling

 

and many more!!

I have had criticism however of the cook,i get on great with my colleague but she doesn't particularly agree with it and the cook always has a go at it saying ooh the mess!!

 

I don't do it all the time -cut down to once a week but still they are arguing saying its too much hassle and mess-we don't have a great routine we come in have breakfast,play,focused activity,play,dinner,play,random activity,play,home

I am on my own in the afternoons as the other girl works in babies in the afternoons>I am the only one who has worked with these children all the time for 5 months so feel I do know them best so or a manager to disagree and sa what to do is annoying to the least itsjust like she wants us to have toys out all day and do activities without mess!!I mean we do a lot of other activities anyway numbers,letters,days of the week,science,creative ,outdoor games etc i just feel undermined any thoughts?!!

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agree like the messy bits... my staff used to always know when I worked as the place was always a big mess to clear up... ( i was the manager!)

 

and all I can say is what has the cook to do with the activities on offer.. surely it is not in her remit to interfere with the staff and what they offer the children.. she is the cook! and to me is overstepping the mark.. (would not happen anywhere i worked)

 

Inge

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Put simply, children need to have access to as wide a range of experiences as possible and messy play has a huge part to play in these experiences. There is so much learning, as you have identified in your list of the things you have done with your children.

 

Messy play by its nature can be challenging for the adults and I think it is so sad that children are denied these experiences (which are, after all enshrined in the EYFS in probably every age band of the learn and develop pages) because the adults think they are inappropriate.

 

I know I said this in a previous thread, but really the cook doesn't have either the knowledge of child development that you have, and so I don't see how she can make an informed decision about the kinds of experiences you offer your children.

 

Perhaps you need some research to back up the value of messy play so that you can argue your case - especially with your manager!

 

Keep up the good work - and keep the mess going!

 

Maz

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In some form messy play should be out every day. The children in my setting love it and yes it takes a while to clean up but if they are learning from it then surely its beneficial. It also encorporates alot of the EYFS so should be done regularly.

 

We have lots of things like cornflour, mashed potato and jelly (lots of tidying) but why not try some slightly less messy things like cereal, pasta, rice etc. they just take some sweeping up, add cars, cups, spoon etc. People in your setting might be more likely to take these ideas on board.

 

Another idea would be to take the messy activities outdoors would be different for the children and adults might be more accommodating.

 

samfrostie :o

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In some form messy play should be out every day.

I agree, samfrostie - welcome to the Forum!

 

I remember having the discussion with some tutoring colleagues some time ago about whether the very term 'messy play' was responsible for the sometimes negative response to this kind of play from practitioners. I'm not a fan of politically correct language for its own sake (so I am delighted now that 'junk modelling' seems to have been rehabilitated of late, for example), but I do wonder if the word 'messy' immediately puts up barriers to this kind of exploratory play.

 

Maz

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well thanks for these responses!!!

Tho cook is middle age-she just likes the room to be nice and clean and loves it when we are outsideso she can have peace LOL!!I have argued with the managerdon't particularly get on great with her anyway-saing that i feel we should be able to domessy play because they learn so much from it its such an experience which they can engage in at their developmental level-

its as if they want us to sit all daydoing numbers with the children and getting thme to write their names which i feel the eyfs is not about!!!

it should be more child initiated and maybe we could take it outdoors more the childen loved the junk modelling-they made a robot using toilet rolls for arms and painted it -talked about the boxes and size of it i think a lot more experiemnts and investigation and exploring should occur than us saying what number is this

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i love doing messy play with my children. we do however get into heated discussions on using food products to play with as there are so many hungry children out there and what message are we giving children - encouraging them to play with food....

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Guest heleng

But there are lots of things that can be used for messy play as well as using food. We use food only occasionally, if it is out of date and we explain to the children it is OK to use it to play with as it is out of date.

 

Also we don't call it messy play, we call it malleable play as the children are manipulating the materials.

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We have some form of 'meesy'; play out most days, finger -painting. cornflour, jelly play, junk model etc.

 

I'm sorry perhaps I'm being really dense here but I still cannot see what the state of the room has to do with the cook?Is she the cleaner as well? Being middle aged has nothing to do with anything. Sounds to me like someone who has been there for far too long dictating to everyone else.

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no.she isn't the cleaner i think she is comparing it to the girl who worked in preschool before us(she's on maternity leave now)she says this girl had the children sat down frequently doin numbers,letters,songs and how the room was always tidy and organised and not paint on floors.

i did a pirate ship a few weeks ago the children used them u no scrapers-and started to paint with a lot of paint - i mean maybe they should have been given less paint and she was like they should have painted between the lines and it looked a mess and that you couldn't see the design!!!

yeh its strange think we need to be doing more messy play-disagree with all this eaching numbes and letters and geting them to write their names all the time should be more child centred learnig -may have to mention this in my review!!!

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Tho cook is middle age-she just likes the room to be nice and clean and loves it when we are outsideso she can have peace LOL!!I

I do hope you're not being ageist here, eclmmcca! :o What is middle aged these days anyway?

 

Maz

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I am the 'wrong side' of middle-age!

 

Messy play is essential and sooooo much fun - often things a child will never get to experience anywhere else.

 

Bags of jelly that I have been making over the weekend are in my fridge as we speak and will be in my water tray tomorrow!

 

Your cook would just love working with me!!! Really cannot see why she is expressing an opinion - don't listen to her!

 

Sunnyday

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yes,i get you! and no maz im notbeing ageist lol!! our nursery is mad on cleanliness!! the cook is a nice lady -the manger has a lot of time for her too she is nice just when she mentions things like oh my the water is on the floor(like a tiny bit) r best drying that off the floor!!

i think the manager toowould be happy if the children just played with toys all day and no mess activities

i think they gain more from messy play thoughbecause by getting them to write their name or count numbers -which sometimes they cannot do i think gives them a sense of failure whereas messy play-they can play at their level- incorporates so many other areas of learning!!

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Do you get any input re. practice from E.Y.A.T. or Development Worker?

 

Sunnyday

 

 

we have a CAT lady who comes in now and then observes us and the other rooms and then feeds back to the manager.The manager just says she says everythings fine -just looks at our planning at how it is

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we have a CAT lady who comes in now and then observes us and the other rooms and then feeds back to the manager.The manager just says she says everythings fine -just looks at our planning at how it is

Sorry to be dense - CAT???

 

sunnyday

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Sorry to be dense - CAT???

 

sunnyday

 

it stands for community advisory team i think she's like a teacher she observes us with the children ,commnets on the planning ,room lay out etc she does this with all the rooms however not just the pre-school!!Whats EYAT

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it stands for community advisory team i think she's like a teacher she observes us with the children ,commnets on the planning ,room lay out etc she does this with all the rooms however not just the pre-school!!Whats EYAT

Aha - thanks - got it now!

 

E.Y.A.T. same thing really - it stands for Early Years Advisory Teacher.

 

Sunnyday

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We have messy play of some sort every day ranging from sand, water, gloop, cornflour, jelly, shaving foam,

lentils & Rice, papier mache, junk modelling, playdough, paint, finger painting etc. We encourage ouor parents

to purchase pre-school polo shirts and sweatshirts and because 'they will get messy!'. We also make mud pies

and mix sand, dirt and water together in the garden!!

 

There have been quite a few childre of late who cannot relate to getting their hands 'messy' or who say 'I can't do that,

mummy will be cross if i get dirty and shy away from activities they could be learning so much from.

 

I can only assume this comes from homes where 'messy play' is definately a no no! How sad :o

 

dottyp

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it certainly is a shame it's as ifin my setting they just want children to be getting ready for school by writing their names constantly and counting.I think messy play is a very unique experience which incorporates all areas of learning into it.We have been told to strip children down if painting! it's a shame if children can not experience this type of play.

 

I am going to try and do a lot more-it is a key part of the EYFS and see how it goes -may have to challenge people about it!!

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it certainly is a shame it's as ifin my setting they just want children to be getting ready for school by writing their names constantly and counting.I think messy play is a very unique experience which incorporates all areas of learning into it.We have been told to strip children down if painting! it's a shame if children can not experience this type of play.

 

I am going to try and do a lot more-it is a key part of the EYFS and see how it goes -may have to challenge people about it!!

Hmmm - aprons!

 

Sunnyday

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We too like messy play as....

 

Every day we have playdough, sand tray, water tray, collage area,junk modelling, digging pit! and most days paint as well.

 

The tuff spots are out regulary with all sorts of wonderful things in from cellulose and soap flakes to jelly animals and shaving foam.

 

We to have children who do not want to get dirty but some make their way over eventually.

 

ohh and we have a writing area with their name cards if they want to write their name or we put the name cards on the playdough table and they make their leeters out of playdough or write them in the tuff spot contents if they so wish. Early mark making is the key to writing could be an argument for having the mess out!

 

 

Elfy has posted a thread about video clips that support eyfs and that has some good ideas.

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