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Messy Play


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Hello all. We have asked recently received feedback from parents that they still don't like their children becoming messy at nursery. I was going to make a poster and give it to parents at induction so they understand the importance of messy play as a part of the learning process. Before I start I wondered it anyone has one so I could gather some ideas??? Here's hoping

 

:o

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I think your best bet is to think through the practicalities of it, rather than to try and explain the learning which some might not understand. What parents are probably worried about is clothes getting ruined.

 

My advice would be to do all or some of the following:

 

- Use aprons whenever children are doing something messy.

- Send out a note saying to send children with spare/old clothes or even in old clothes on specific 'messy' days.

- Keep a set of old clothes at nursery to use.

 

Hope that helps,

Sue.

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Another idea is to ask parents to provide 'old' shirts as some children don't like aprons. Ideally it shouldn't matter whether a child wears 'protective' clothing or not, I say this because some children 'lose' the sponteneity' of wanted to paint or glue etc when 'stopped' and reminded to 'put on an apron'.

 

I'd also consider using a different name for these type of activities, a parent can easily say "I don't want my child to get messy" compared to "I don't want my child to do Art". :o

 

Maybe also when a parent approaches you and says I don't want 'Tom' to get messy, involve 'Tom' in the conversation, ask him in front of the parent "Do you like painting?", "What do you like best about gluing?" etc, then say to Tom, mum/Dad is worried that you might spoil your clothes, do you think you can remember to put on an apron, or have you got some old clothes at home you can remind Mum/Dad to let you wear them on preschool days, and don't forget if you are going somewhere special after preschool mum/dad can always bring in a change of clothes?"

 

Peggy

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As part of my BAECES Hons, I have just participated in a group presentation about messy play. As part of our presentation we devised a booklet for parents with the reasons messy play is important to a childs development as well as including recipes and suggestions about what parents could do at home.

 

The online Nursery World article 'A Parent's Guide to Messy Play' dated 18th March, 2004 can be found at http://www.nurseryworld.co.uk/news/login/713001/ but you need to be member to access the complete article. (few mins to set it up).

 

Or an article on messy play by Bernadette Duffy can be found at http://nationalstrategies.standards.dcsf.gov.uk/node/84342.

You may get a few ideas from here or at least some back up for your positive remarks when you try to counteract the parents negatives!

 

Good Luck.

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Nothing to add except, why do parents dress their children in clothes they want to keep nice?

Reminds me of the Sound of music and the 'play' clothes Julie Andrews made.

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Nothing to add except, why do parents dress their children in clothes they want to keep nice?

Reminds me of the Sound of music and the 'play' clothes Julie Andrews made.

 

Here here! It makes me laugh and angry simultaniously when the girls come in in their white linnen trousers and pretty summer dresses!

 

They're kids! They WILL get messy even if there isn't any 'messy' play!

 

Tink! :D x

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Hi, we have had a similar problem but have stuck to our guns and parents are now much better. Some of our parents keep a couple of sets of clothes just for nursery which works really well. We have also just introduced an optional uniform - just t-shirts and sweatshirts which can be bought quite cheaply and help solve the problem.

 

Hope this helps

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Hi, we have had a similar problem but have stuck to our guns and parents are now much better. Some of our parents keep a couple of sets of clothes just for nursery which works really well. We have also just introduced an optional uniform - just t-shirts and sweatshirts which can be bought quite cheaply and help solve the problem.

 

Hope this helps

Hi and welcome chasrosam - and congratulations on making your first post! :o

 

Sunnyday

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Here here! It makes me laugh and angry simultaniously when the girls come in in their white linnen trousers and pretty summer dresses!

 

They're kids! They WILL get messy even if there isn't any 'messy' play!

 

Tink! :D x

 

It's almost worth doing something deliberately REALLY messy when they come like that :o

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My kids were making mud pies and flinging them around the garden at the weekend. Now THAT got a bit messy ...

 

Needless to say my lo doesn't go into pre-school in white tops or dresses (they are all in the pile marked 'stained must try to get stains out before she wears them'!) :o

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Its a reflection of todays life I think. My oldest has just bought a new bag because he didnt like the other one. I suggested he 'make do' to which he replied 'what does that mean?'

My fault I know.

My youngest wore hand me downs so often that one year I couldnt buy his playgroup photo because he was wearing the exact clothes his brother wore in his photo 2 years earlier. :o

 

But I never worried about mess and my children got to play freely.

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I've put together a longterm plan/continuous provision sheet for messy - sensory and malleable play, I don't know if that will be useful to you

ltp_and_cp_messy_play.doc

I also agree with the point made about aprons - they can really hinder some children's involvement.

Parents need to be informed from the outset that this is part of your settings rich and varied provision. My children seem to get their clothes the most messy when playing in the sand and water :o

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dcn - thanks for sharing that.....looks really good!

 

Well we are on the subject of 'suitable clothes' ....does anyone else have little girls who come wearing really long dresses?

 

How on earth can they play in those........ outside play that involves climbing is absolutely impossible :o

 

Sunnyday

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Our admissions form requests that children dont wear open toed sandals or long dresses as this hinders play. We also ask that clothes be suitable for wearing while painting, gluing etc as it doesnt always wash off. We also add that we are not responsible for damages. We give them a T-shirt and they can buy extras, but its just as cheap to go to Bewise, Peacocks or similar.

I used to love wearing my dads old shirts in art :o

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Your long term plan/continuous provision sheet is fantastic, is it ok to download a copy ?

 

Yes of course, I'm happy to share and hope it's of use to others. I've downloaded others on the childminding forum.

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my daughter's nursery sells t-shirts and sweatshirts, navy blue with the nursery logo on. She's no keen on them because they're not pink but she knows she wears them on a nursery day with some jeans or jogging bottoms - needless to say, she can play freely!

 

Jen

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we found too some girls refused the sweatshirts until we gave a pink option, then they all wanted them... so or children had multi coloured choice of 'uniform' with our logo on,

 

we had the usual letter to tell about messy play and the fact that they often saw me as messy as the children helped, often found with muddy clothes or coloured hair from the paint etc.

 

My issue was with the parents who sent child in summer clothes even in winter, and then there was the 4 year old with high heeled shoes, she could not use any of the equipment outside as she was so unbalanced... even when we told mum she still came in them..

 

oh and yes we had one poor little 3year old girl whose mum sent her in strappy sandals which rubbed her feet, so much so we removed them and put on comfy slippers, only for mum to insist she put them on to walk home.. we offered the slippers but they were not fashionable and looked wrong...

That said this parent was quite happy and not worried if the fancy clothes were filthy when she collected, often a white coat covered in mud, paint on everything.. her daughter was a muck magnet, just show her it and she was always covered.

 

 

Inge

Edited by Inge
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Sunnyday, we have the same problem with the girls. This year the dresses seem to be even longer and more flowing. A staff member was just saying today, isnt it ridiculous we stop them wearing some of the dressing up clothes on certain equipment as it's dangerous, yet some of their dresses/skirts are even worse? We also have an optional sweatshirt/t tshirt but come September this will become compulsary,so hopefully will stop this problem & the uncovered shoulders. The open toes sandals and flip flops are a different matter and each year an ongoing battle. I have had parents say'Oh didn't think it mattered as the climbing equipment wasn't out' or 'dont worry, she knows she isn't allowed down to the physical end when wearing them'

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  • 2 weeks later...

I still think it's crazy that parents react like that!

I don't like it when my daughter spoils clothes so I always put her in clothes I don't care about when she goes to nursery!

she might not like it but I'm the parent, not her!

 

as one of the parents of a child i looked after once said "a messy child is the sign of a happy child because they have had lots of fun"!

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