Big kids like messy play too!

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 As a childminder, my own children do sometimes have to put up with alot, their home full of children, having to keep their own things upstairs, having their bedrooms taken over for naps etc!  But one was they do benefit is that they get to join in activities that they are often considered to be ‘too old’ for.  If you ask them, they would even say they are too old, but rarely they can resist joining in!


This is one of my favourite activities to do with the children.  Ideally I’d like to do it more often, but ideally the weather has to be warm and dry (mainly for the clean up!).  Having been particularly wet this year, we finally got round to doing it this week.  I laid out big sheets of card across the block paving and added  shallow trays of paint.  Children were then changed into some of my spare t shirts, clothes generally aren’t wearable again after this activity!


 The children were free to explore the paint with their hands. feet or any other body part!
My own two children (the older ones) were straight in there!
The little ones were a bit more cautious.  K has a questioning look on his face as though saying ‘what, I’m really allowed to do this!’ even though we do do ALOT of messy activities!


 Cautiously dipping fingertips in the paint.
Learning that they can use their fingers to move or transfer the paint.  Exploring the feel and texture of the paint.



I did have to remind my two to try to leave a bit of the paper unmarked for the little ones!
Little ones learn alot from watching the older children play.  Not only does it give them ideas, but it often gives them the confidence to have a go and sometimes it looks like too much fun to miss out on.


With a bit of encouragement and support, toes were cautiously dipped into the paint.


Others needed no encouragement, maybe I should have restricted them to hands and feet as it quickly escalated into a body painting activity!


Copious amounts of paint applied to the same area apparently make it very slippery, just like ice skating. (I now have no paint left!!)


 L was much more cautious than the others during this activity, preferring to remain on the edge of the paper.
Learning that it’s fine to explore an activity at your own pace.  Learning that different people enjoy different things.


See what I mean about the body painting!


I added some brushes for L as she did not appear comfortable with the whole hand / feet / body painting.



 discovered that paint could also be applied to the block paving – soooo lucky hubbie is at work!


 K as usual added his supply of cars to the activity!
Learning that resources can be combined in different ways and what resources work well together.  Discovering that marks can be made with objects other than fingers and feet.


And then cows were added!


The children’s finished work!


 Clearing up proved to be just as much fun.
Learning that paint washes away and we can be clean again!


Learning to help clear away and tidy up!

Links to revised EYFS:
Prime Areas
PSED (1) 16-26m Plays alongside others.
C&L (1) 8-20m Has a strong exploratory impulse
C&L (1) 16-26m Pays attention to dominant stimulus, easily distracted by noised or other people talking.
C&L (2) 8-20m Developing the ability to follow others body language including pointing and gesture.
C&L (3) 8-20m Uses single words – (paint, hand, foot, car, cow)
PD (1) 8-20m Enjoys the sensory experience of making marks in damp sand, paste or paint.
PD (2) 8-20m Actively cooperates with nappy changing (the clean up!)

Specific Areas
EA&D (1) 8-20m Explores and experiments with a range of media through sensory exploration using whole body (this activity definitely covers this one!)

Characteristics of Effective Learning:
Playing and Exploring:
The children were more confident to explore with their hands as they had done this on previous occasions.  They were more cautious about exploring with their feet, but they were willing to have a go.

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