Creative Confidence – Get messy, really messy!

IMG_1669Having creative confidence is trusting and valuing each and every one of your ideas and taking creative risks.

In the Art Studio this is goal #1: to instill creative confidence in every visitor that walks through the door no matter what the project is, what medium we are exploring, or what collaborative project we are constructing.  Each month we will post a new idea about how to instill creative confidence in children at home and in the classroom.

Idea 6 – Get messy, really messy!

Open ended messiness is, well, just fun! It also is a great opportunity for kids (big and little) to have some very hands-on sensory experiences. Open-ended messy play is also great for exploration and discovery.

Andrea Dunham, founder of “Hands On”, the home of Messy Play Art Classes, Kid’s Art Exploration Classes and Mobile Messy Play writes, “Messy Play is designed with children’s natural curiosity in mind. It encourages a positive approach to new experiences. There is no “right” way for children to do messy play. This builds self-confidence and self-esteem. Through messy play, children can develop concentration, problem-solving and planning. Working with others fosters self-respect and respect for others. It also presents opportunities for making relationships. Messy play also offers an outlet for feelings, experiences and thoughts.”

We love making messes at Boston Children’s Museum! When I first started working here I was so excited about the Messy Sensory area in our PlaySpace exhibit. It is a “messy” area designed and set up for our youngest visitors ages 3 and under. I thought it was a shame that we didn’t have any space for our 4+ visitors to get really messy. Now in the Art Studio we have two Messy Mondays every month. Projects are chosen in conjunction with our monthly themes in the studio. The project in PlaySpace’s Messy Sensory area mirrors the project in the Art Studio on those two days, creating a messy space for every visitor to enjoy! This month we are having two big Messy Mondays outside. July 8th we will be doing some BIG spray bottle paintings and on July 22nd we will be taking over the front of the museum and playing and creating with some awesome homemade sidewalk paint.

Here is a list of some of our Messy Monday projects:

Face Painting – Visitors were invited to face paint themselves! Inspiration was gathered from tribal face painting done all over the world.
Make Your Own Clay – Visitors were invited to measure out ingredients to make and take home some homemade clay.
Make Your Own Play Dough – Visitors were invited to measure out ingredients to make and take home some homemade play dough.
Cherry Blossom Prints – Visitors printed out their own beautiful cherry blossoms using all different shades of pink paint and the bottoms of plastic soda bottles.
Recycle Surprise – Rainbow Contact Paper Creations – Visitors collaborated to create 8 very long rainbows made out of all sort of colorful recycled materials stuck onto contact paper.
Plaster Sand Casting – Visitors were invited to create a negative shape in a big container of sand and then fill the form with plaster.Visitors then took home their plaster forms.
Sand Spray Bottle Paintings – Visitors were invited to create a design on top of a piece of paper with sand and then spray it with liquid water-color – once the sand was removed it acted like a stencil, leaving a clean white shape where the sand was.
Big Drum Collaging – Visitors worked collaboratively to cover 10 big buckets with collage materials – these buckets became drums for visitors to use!
Oobleck Fun – Oh, yeah, Oobleck! Visitors were invited to play in our BIG buckets of Oobleck.
Painting with Strange Objects – Visitors collaborated and made many large paintings working on the floor, using all sorts of odd things to make marks with.
Outside – Help us Create a Community – Visitors helped us to create a huge, crazy, messy community with all sorts of stuff, water included!
Watercolor Play – Blow Pictures – Visitors used a dropper to drop liquid watercolors onto their paper and then blew and mixed the colors using straws.
Roller Painting – Visitors were invited to explore what sorts of marks different rolling objects dipped in paint would make.

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Read more:
From What to Expect / Pregnancy and parenting, every step of the way
8 Reasons to Let Your Kids Get Messy

From Awesomely Awake with Shawn Ledington Fink
10 Messy Moments Kids Should Have

From Hands On

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