It feels like it’s been a long time since we indulged in some messy play. Wednesdays are notoriously long days with both the baby and the preschooler to entertain and once we were home from play group, I decided to get the Tuff Spot out straight away. It tends to dispel tantrums quickly!
We’re having a pirate week and the preschooler has really enjoyed learning the words and actions to our song, The Day I went to Sea. We’re making our own words up for the rhyming bits, which provides plenty of opportunity for poo and wee unfortunately (when I was two… etc) but at least he is listening to the sounds and trying to rhyme!
So today we went for some messy pirate play!
To make the messy pirate world I:
- tipped our Moon Sand onto the Tuff Spot to make the island
- added small world pirates, ships and accesories
- squirted gel shaving foam to make the sea- the preschooler was fascinated to see that the blue gel turned into foam when he mixed it with a pastry brush!
- popped on a box of ‘treasure’ to look through
- buried some treasure in the sand
The baby and he preschooler were straight in there, immediately drawn to the treasure! They loved rooting through all of my old (non precious!) rings, necklaces and bracelets and they were so excited when the found the hidden treasure buried in the sand!
They also really enjoyed the different sensory experiences on offer:
- they both loved the texture of the foam and the sand, both separately and mixed together. They spent a long time with their hands and feet moving around on the tray
- they also both loved looking at all the bright colours and listening to the jangling sounds
- the baby had a little taste- only a litte!
The messy pirate play was also an excellent opportunity for the preschooler to continue his letters and sounds learning. We listened to the Jolly Phonics CD as we played and I tipped the magnetic letters into the sand too. We had a little go at mark making but the preshooler wasn’t in the mood for too much writing today so I didn’t push it! He did enjoy finding the letters as they came up on the CD though and I was really pleased to see that he recognised all of s a t p i n
The preschooler also really enjoyed engaging in some imaginative play,using the characters and pirate ships to act out stories. He was fully engrossed in this for such a long time- it was really lovely to see!
Of course, one of the best things about the messy pirates was the mess! The foam and the moon sand are excellent materials for messy play!
And once we’d finished with the messy play, we decided we needed to give our treasures and pirates a wash. Not any ordinary wash though.Oh no! This was a great opportunity for some buried treasure water play! This is what we did:
- I filled the water tray with warm water that had been coloured with black food colouring
- we threw in the treasures and other toys
- we noted and made predictions about which toys we thought would sink or float
- we scrubbed the toys!
- we made an island with one of the toy trees and a sponge