Messy Play - Children spattered with mud

Messy Play at Amy & Kids Co.

Children need to play, explore, and have sensory experiences on their bodies without fear of getting in trouble for being dirty. While I don’t encourage messy play just for the sake of making a mess, I firmly believe in the benefits of messy play and allow the children to get messy and dirty while playing.

Drawing, writing, and painting on themselves and each other (with the other child's consent) is also allowed. This is a vital component of pre-writing because children need to feel the sensation on their bodies as well as the utensil in their hands. Just as physical development begins at the trunk and moves outward to the hands and feet, pre-writing development begins with writing on themselves and progresses to to the wall or easel, then to paper.

Dress for Mess Means No Stress

Messy Play - Smiling girl with muddy hands

Since actively playing children are often rough on clothing, please send your child in “play clothes” that can get messy, and don't be surprised they come home with rips, tears, food, paint, dirt, sand, and other messes on them.

You may want to set aside pre-stained “Clothes for Amy’s” and rotate through them. You may even decide to send your child in the same things over and over again, especially if they’re already well-worn so there’s no worry about ruining them! (You may notice I rotate through the same not-quite-pristine outfits too.)

The same goes for socks & shoes, which are closest to the ground and first to get messy. Resale stores are a good source for pre-loved footgear; boots, crocks/clogs, etc, that can be rinsed off are all great options. Socks sometimes go AWOL despite our best efforts, so feel free to send your child in “mixy-match” socks or without socks.

Dress for Independence

In addition to clothes that can get messy, be sure your child wears clothing he/she can easily manage. Struggling with clothes that are too big or too small during toileting or when changing out of messy clothes into clean ones is frustrating for children. Well-fitting clothing enables children to learn independence, develop self-help skills, and sets them up for success! It’s best to avoid overalls, tights, pants with zippers and buttons/snaps, and other clothing that is hard to manage until your child has mastered the garment independently.

Babies Get Messy Too

Infants primarily learn through their senses, so messy play is vital for their learning. Please keep this in mind as you dress your infant in the morning, and save special outfits for home so they don't get ruined. Mbile infants who enjoy crawling on the grass can wear a pair of dark colored fleece pants in a size larger than usual over their everyday outfit to protect it, and provide extra padding for their little knees.

Playing in Messy Weather

Amy & Kid Co. provides rain suits and waterproof boots for children to wear when it's wet and really muddy. Winter gear, consisting of a snowsuit, waterproof winter boots, mittens and hat are provided in the winter.

Since Wisconsin weather can fluctuate greatly from morning to afternoon, please keep the day’s forecast in mind when helping your child choose the day’s outfit. Your child may want to keep a sweatshirt in here for cool mornings/afternoons, or when coming into air conditioning on hot summer days.

Messy Play - Two girls playing in a bowl of wet sand

We're So Lucky

We loved her creative and encouraging approach to every aspect of the day. We're so lucky that Miss Amy helped our daughter become a curious, happy, self-confident person!" ~ Tanya & Todd

Nature is Messy

Outdoors is a great place for messy play! Our nature based program provides social, emotional and developmental benefits too!

Weekly Menus

All that messy play makes a child hungry! All the meals on our weekly menus are delicious, nutritious, and sure to satisfy.

Learningful Play

Messy play is just one component of play-based learning. Check out how much your child is learning through play every day.