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Funny smells, sticky hands and squishy textures are all part of the way in which children develop sensory awareness. Fun with Messy Play is an exciting activity book that heightens the sensory perception of children with special needs through the imaginative use of everyday 'messy' materials like baked beans, condensed milk, jelly or glue. The activities in this book are fun for children and help to improve their co-ordination, communicative and cognitive abilities, as well as their self-esteem and social skills. Each exercise focuses the child on a movement or sensation that they will later be able to apply to everyday life. By allowing children to explore their senses while having fun, messy play provides a relaxing therapy that encourages sensory responsiveness without placing stressful expectations on the child. This is an easy-to-use, practical resource for parents and professionals. It includes ideas and examples from practitioners along with helpful suggestions for different types of equipment that can be used.
Tracey Beckerleg has worked as a teacher for children with special needs for ten years, where she first began developing her approach to messy play. As a mother of five children, Tracey used messy play in her parenting. She lives in Hampshire, England, and is currently a Portage home visitor, carrying out a home-visit educational service for pre-school children with support needs.