Get Messy

messy girlPlaytime with toddlers and pre-schoolers is full of possibilities. The world is a big and fascinating place with tons of fun stuff to do. Add to that the zillions of way-cool toys that probably fill every corner of your house, and we haven’t even mentioned your Wednesday play group. Well, here’s another idea to add to your routine: Get messy!

Plan an old fashioned, squishy, slimy, gooey, hands in the mud, fun-time! Like make your own Play Doh (flour, salt, water), or cake batter finger paints, or homemade pizza, or any other play that involves full on, feel-the-mush touch. For more messy ideas, check out the folks at splatter studio. And here’s the scientific explanation: Tactile activities cause the formation of new neuronal connections in the brain. These are different from, and in addition to, those made by verbal, auditory, and visual stimulation. So go ahead … stash that Baby Einstein video and get messy. It’s SO much fun … and they’ll have brain power to show for it.

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Rachel Zahn, MD is a pediatrician turned health writer who had three kids during medical school and pediatric training—crazy, huh?

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