Saturday, 8 June 2013

15 months old - Introducing Messy Play

Celeste has just turned 15 months old and over the past few weeks my Mum and I have been introducing Celeste to a variety of messy play activities.  Thursdays have become messy play days in our house as it is the day my Mum looks after Celeste so I am able to work.  I do however set aside some time to join in with the messy play activities as these currently do not last much longer than 10-15 minutes due to Celeste's still short attention span.

First my mum made some playdough, using the same recipe she used to use with us when we were children.  Celeste was very unsure about the texture at first and did not like holding it in her hand for long.  She did however, quickly grasp the concept of the shape cutters and enjoyed making a variety of familiar shapes out of the dough.

The following week we did some sticking and made a monster!
My mum is a library assistant at a local library and part of her role is running craft activities for the children once a week.  This means, not only is she full of great crafting ideas for preschool children, but she also has a ready supply of crafting material to try with Celeste.  The week before the children in the library made a monster by sticking the pre-cut "monster" components together and decorating with colour spots, therefore this week this is exactly what we tried with Celeste.  She quickly got the idea that she needed to pat the monster components together to get them to stick and thoroughly enjoyed sticking the spots on his tummy.

This was followed by some painting.  I was pleasantly surprised how much of painting Daddy's birthday card Celeste remembered when shown the paints again.  She remembered how to make hand prints and did this will very little instruction.  My mum also bought over some painting rollers which Celeste enjoyed rolling up and down the paper to make interesting patterns.

This week we did some drawing.

Out of all the activities we tried, this was the one Celeste required the least instruction in what to do.  She immediately picked up and crayons and put "pen to paper".  She seemed genuinely interested in the different coloured marks she could make on the paper and went through each crayon in the pack asking us its colour before using it.

This was followed by aqua drawing.
As this directly followed the standard drawing activity, Celeste was familiar with what she needed to do to make marks on the mat.  She watched with interest as I wrote her name and drew a butterfly for her.  Because it makes no mess, this activity has stayed out on her table for the last 3 days and she enjoys taking a moment every now and then to draw some shapes before moving on to another activity.

It has been really interesting watching Celeste investigate all the new activities.  As I mentioned above, her attention span is still quite short therefore none of these activities kept her occupied for a particularly long period of time, however hopefully they are sowing the seeds for an interest in more complex, more interactive, and longer periods of messy play in the future.

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