About Messy Play
Messy Play kits were created by Hands on Parenting LLC as a way to extend the reach of their popular Messy Play classes. They are an easy way for children and parents to engage in sensory exploration and age-appropriate science activities at home.
Why Messy Play?
Children learn best when they actively engage with their environment and use all their senses. Young children are in a very concrete stage of development—they need to SEE and FEEL their world in order to understand it. By engaging in sensory play combined with skilled adult partners, they learn about a variety of textures, materials, and properties in the concrete manner they understand best.
Through Messy Play kits and activities, children will:
- Engage with a variety of textures and materials
- Learn about material properties and how they change (such as soft, sticky, stretchy, bubbly)
- Develop cognitive skills (problem-solving, cause and effect)
- Math skills (counting, shape identification and matching, timing)
- Science concepts (physical properties, gravity, basic chemical reactions, predictions and observations)
- Social and emotional skills (sharing materials, group problem-solving, decision-making)
- Language abilities (learning new words for materials and properties)
- Responsibility and self-control (having to participate in set-up and clean-up, following rules and limits)
- Fine motor skills (pinching, poking, grasping) all help develop the muscles to hold a pencil and write properly
- Creativity (using open-ended materials allows room for creativity and builds self-confidence)
Instructions are included in each Messy Play Kit. See the Tips page for ideas on how to support your child during Messy Play adventures.
Robin Wilson Imholte
Robin Wilson Imholte is the founder of Hands on Parenting LLC and the creator of the Messy Play Kits. She has degrees in child development and psychology from the University of California at Davis. Robin taught preschool for two years in a demonstration site for best practices for the state of California while concurrently mentoring undergraduates in the field of Early Childhood Education. In 2012 Robin consulted for the Centering (TM) prenatal program at the Kenmore Square Office of Harvard Vanguard medical Group in Boston, MA, where she helped design the curriculum and co-taught the newborn care classes. She is also a Certified Lactation Counselor, The Happiest Baby on the Block Instructor, Infant Massage Instructor, and a Postpartum Doula.