MESSY ART Helps Children Manage Pandemic Stress

Messy Art activities are one of the best ways to promote brain power and adaptive thinking in early childhood. Young children need time to expand their understanding of the world through hands-on, self-directed learning. Open ended art activities, where children dictate how materials are used, are always the best approach. Why are process art experiences important? Process art puts children in control of their actions and outcomes. That alone – having control over ones action and outcomes – can be an exhilarating experience for young children. After all, young children typically spend their days following other peoples rules.

During pandemic times, Messy Art provides an even higher return on investment. When typical children are stressed, their need for safe, soothing and expressive sensory experiences also increases. Pandemic stress has both children and adults feeling less in control than ever before. There’s no better time than now to provide open messy art experiences to help children and families develop greater resiliency.

Just what IS Messy Art? And what is the underlying neuroscience of messy play? To understand messy art in greater depth, it’s best to start by separating WET from DRY art materials. Learning about the property of art materials and their effect on our sensory system is a big part of art therapy, and there’s a lot of interesting nuances to learn and apply in early education. Feel free to download my article on it here and forward to teachers

Many CreativePlayLA workshops use messy art and sensory play as a foundation. We can even get messy virtually, which is a cool thing I learned during the pandemic. Like classroom work itself, virtual hands-on depends good set up, organization, and strong intention.

Most of my workshops are half hands-on art, half slide/lecture. Here’s a Messy Art lecture sampler, so you can see how picture of real life classrooms keep teachers interested and engaged.

Thanks for reading my newsletter and for your continued commitment to families in your community. Together, we are making a difference in the lives of so many children. I hope you can feel it.

Anna Reyner,

Consultant & Trainer:
CreativePlayLA, Los Angeles California

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