Monday, 29 October 2012

not all children like to get messy

finger painting was NOT an activity of choice - this was his first experience.

Not all children like to get messy...
Michael was one of those children that started out life avoiding situations that involved paint and anything gooey. His two sisters being the absolute opposite - they explored everything to the fullest - and enjoyed every moment of it

Sophia getting creative

I do think that there should be an acceptance that some children simply do not want to participate in all the sensory play and painting that is made available - and that teachers do not need to feel anxious feeling that they are missing out. Michael never missed out - he had other interests. BUT I have to admit I still wanted him to be able to try messy stuff out without having a meltdown...

So I introduced dry messy play - nothing that would stick to his hands or body -  play-doh, rice, pasta, beans etc. I mixed various things into the play-doh to vary the texture - like glitter, rice and sand.

Outside we started with mud-play using sticks to keep the goo at a distance - introducing the messy play on Michael's terms. Nowadays he is a fully fledge messy-player - whether it is something he has naturally grown into or whether by offering dry messy play gave him the support he needed to take the step to allow himself feel OK with getting messy I am unable to say.

What I do want to say is...

I am a BIG fan of sensory play.

I am a BIG fan of allowing children to test out things on their on terms.

I am a BIG fan of allowing children to watch others having fun as a way of gaining confidence to try out themselves.

I am a BIG fan of offering children experiences based on their individual needs.

And I believe that if we keep the needs of the child at the core of what we do rather than just focussing on offering a range of activities - it will help us as teachers to offer the right experiences that will allow each child to reach his or her full potential.

Our Jackson Pollock inspired painting ended up being a skating rink and a big back splodge - but a totally fantastic experience - this is the cardboard footpath to the washroom!!

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