Posted in Baby OL, Family, Feeding, Ordinarylife, Parenting

Messy play – is it really necessary?

I have been worried about Baby OL being bored at home. She loves it when we go out, she is social, waves at everyone and is quite a little show off.  It is very cute.  I have also been worried that she is not getting enough stimulation so I have been reading books and blogs on activities for a 1 year old.  And it turns out I am doing ok.

The biggest thing seems to be messy play.  Now, I don’t really understand the need for this…. Don’t most 1 year olds get enough of that when they eat – or is that just mine?

On the weekends I don’t tend to bother about how much mess she makes, as long as some food goes in her mouth.  It is summer here, so most of the time I just strip off all her clothes and let her loose.  Generally I give her a spoon and keep one for myself (to actually feed her with).  I will let her put her spoon in the bowl but that normally progresses to fingers. 

One of the other things I let her do is stick her hands in the cat’s kibble when I am feeding them.  She gets so carried away she ends up with both hands in up to her elbows in the container.  But she seems to love it.  I guess the only problem is that the food is slightly oily and the crumbs stick to her fingers. She then tries to lick her hands – gross – cat food, but she does not seem to mind the taste (I am sure if she did she would stop doing it).

I have also recently let her loose with playdough.  Oh the joys, she flings it all over the place, mooshes her hands in it and generally just has a ball.  I was initially worried about her trying to eat it but then read a post that Teacher Tom wrote about Natural Consequence – something along the lines of the only way kids are going to realise it is not nice to eat is if they try it. He was right, she only attempted to eat it once. (Love his blog)

We also read a lot, she loves books and music, she also loves stacking things and we have a shape sorters and stuff like that.  I love giving her something and then letting her figure out various things to do with it – like the spaghetti.  It was really cute to watch her experiment with it, eat it, play with it and eventually decorate the cat in it.  As she is getting older it is amazing to watch how quickly she will learn something.  Last week she figured out how to make one of her toys play musical tunes (this week it has no batteries).

I am also amazed at how much she actually understands.  I found this out the other day when I was asking why she had so much avocado in her hair… And she then pointed to her hair.  I followed up by asking where was her hair and she pointed again.  I now know she know bottom and toes as well….

I have decided to hold off on playschool for now.  Firstly I can’t find one I like and secondly she is still really young.  My mom is going to start coming round during the day and taking her out on little outings.  I am also arranging more play dates and things for her on the weekends (which also gives me an excuse to meet up with my friends).


19 thoughts on “Messy play – is it really necessary?

  1. Ha – it never really stops, it just morphs into bigger, messier projects. I don’t think it’s an issue at all.

    Aside: You are the only person I know who has a North Korean flag in their kitchen (aside from 24,000,000 North Koreans, I suppose).

  2. Incidentally, you hit the nail on the head with the playdate synopsis: read article last week which scolded parents of small kids for “pretending” their kids were playing “together” – there is no real interaction until +/- 3 years. Anything before that is tea, cake and skinner for the mums, apparently. 🙂

    1. As if we really needed an excuse anyway.

      As for the flags – we have the English one too if it makes you feel any better.

  3. Sounds like you are doing everything right for sure!

    Messy play is LANK important ito of development of healthy tactile responses so keep it up.

    She is very young for playschool, so nice that your mama will come over and take her out.

    1. I don’t think in our house we are going to name it messy play though – I think it is just going to be life. We seem to live messy, in the garden, in the sand or what ever else we can find. It is more fun that way. And yes, its great that my mom is able to take her out.

  4. She is adorable…and all little ones are messy if you allow them…and if you don’t mind cleaning the mess…she can actually create a canvas on herself as you see;-D

    1. She is very good at using herself as a canvas. And I don’t mind cleaning up. I like to see her experiment.

  5. So glad you’ve decided against playschool – she’s so little still.

    And yes, messy play is very nb for their tactile development. As long as you’re ok to tidy it up!

    1. Yip, I’m fine to clean it up. I am lucky with the design of our house. Big open spaces and no carpets. Makes life much easier.

  6. Have to agree on the not starting playschool yet, she is still little and soon enough shes going to have to go every day. Nice to let her have some time with out having to go. As for the stimulation, it all sounds as though you are doing a fantastic job, so i really wouldnt stress about it at all if i were you:-)!
    p.s. you have won the competition at the book club blog! (which of course will help with keeping her stimulated via reading…)

  7. Firstly, your little girl is gorgeous.

    I am positive that she is getting enough messy play – dont stress about it at all.

    Secondly, please can I have a go at your wine racks… I am in awe right now 🙂

    1. Thank you, and thanks. I am quite fond of them too…. The look a bit better stocked now than they did a little while ago. Winter puts a serious dent in the red wine then we spend summer restocking (while I drink the white)

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