Judging by the four year old's school uniform he has been doing a lot of it at school so I asked him about his five favourite messy play things and have added some learning!
1. Shaving foam
Very simple and very messy - squirt on the table and then spread out with the palms of your hand and draw shapes, patterns and pictures or write letters, numbers and even words. This is a great activity for children who don't really like writing as they are too busy drawing to realise they are practicing and developing these fine motor skills!
He likes paint (claims he hasn't done it this week but someone has because there was green paint on his school shoes this morning)... He then talked about rolling marbles in paint to make patterns and mixing colours.
3. Finding Buried Treasure
Hide coins in a sandpit (doesn't matter if the sand is wet or dry - wet is messier though) and dig for them - you can use spades or spoons, sieve for them or just find them with fingers.
He still remembers this from Chinese New Year - a big tray of cooked noodles to stir, pick up with large tweezers (trying chopsticks if you are brave!)
Probably one of every preschoolers favourites - blogged about before with recipes - lots of learning opportunities. This week they have been thinking about birthdays and have been making playdough cakes.