Let’s Get Messy!

Fox Therapy Services • THE BLOG •

Occupational Therapy:  Ideas for Sensory (Messy) Play


What is messy play?  Messy play is exactly that – messy! It is where you allow your child to make a controlled mess so they are able to use their senses in purposeful ways.  While a “mess” is not ideal, the benefits of messy play are great and worth the minimal inconvenience. 


Benefits of messy play: 

-Sensory input to different textures (If your child has sensory aversions start with one of the ideas below and slowly introduce and increase engagement as child builds tolerance)

-Hand eye coordination 

-Fine motor skills (finger dexterity and hand/shoulder strength)

-Gross motor skills 

-Body awareness

-Attention and creativity

-Language development


Ideas for messy play:

-Finger paints -Kinetic Sand

-Shaving cream -Playdough

-Sand box -Slime

-Water table -Cooking

-Sensory Bins 


Need Inspiration?  Check out these activities!

3 ingredient cloud dough recipe (similar to play dough)



Decorate a cake with shaving cream!



More Posts

Reading Books

One of the best ways to increase your child’s language and early literacy skills is by reading books! Research shows that book reading facilitates language development and plays an important role in preparing children for success in school. Children who have early language delays are at risk for reading difficulties in the elementary years. Reading

Gross Motor Activities

Gross Motor Skills are skills that develop through using the large muscles of the body in a coordinated and controlled way. Movements of the whole arms, the legs and the trunk are all gross motor movements. Gross motor skills help children participate in various functional tasks during play such as, running, climbing, catching, throwing, etc.

Is it time for an occupational therapy consultation?

Occupational therapists help people across a lifespan participate in the things they want and need to do through therapeutic use of everyday activities. When is it time to consider? Here are a few red flags that occupational therapists look for and address in treatment sessions:   Fine Motor Skills Difficulty manipulating fasteners Awkward grasp Writing

Calming Glitter Jars

A glitter jar can be used as a tool to help a child calm and self-regulate whenever a child feels stressed, overwhelmed or upset.  Supplies: Jar or plastic bottle (i.e. baby food jar, mason jar,  plastic water bottle) Glitter Glue  (i.e. Crayola or Elmer’s Glitter Glue work best, but generic will work as well) Food

Send Us A Message