Editor’s Note: Some children love the experience of tactile, “messy art” while others, particularly those with sensory disorders, may find it unsettling. Encourage all children to participate at a level and pace that makes them comfortable.
Messy art is great fun for children and provides them with delight! Children love to play with paint and other gooey materials that tickle their senses. Messy art lets children discover the emotional pleasures of sensory and tactile play. Not only does messy art engage a child’s senses in open-ended play, it also develops cognitive, social-emotional and multi-sensory skills. Self directed learning with fluid, sensory and tactile art materials is especially important in early childhood. These fluid sensory art experiences provide children with exciting physical contacts that motivate exploration. The fluid nature of paint provides for dynamic and rapidly changing explorations of color, shape and textures on paper. Painting is indeed, a powerful process!