Children are curious creatures. They explore, question, and wonder; and by doing so, they learn.

Jamie loves to experiment. He loves unusual things. He is always keen to organise and invent different ways of approaching his play.

Through messy play children can investigate, explore, design and create, leading to a better understanding of the world around them.

Keiyanna planned what she would use to squash the petals and leaves. She kept checking and critiquing the consistency.

What is most pleasurable about discovery and mastery is sharing it with someone else. We are social creatures.

Encouraging the Amelia and Kara to work together while they hypothesise and plan, enables them to consider other ideas making choices and decisions before they construct their investigations.

Considering decisions and choices before they invent, Finlay and Charlie check items. They analyse and compare each item. They discuss and select, observing the results.

“Let’s negotiate who does what job! Someone needs to pour, someone needs to stir and mix. And the other person should make sure it works.”

We identified all the different things. We estimated how much more we needed to make it thicker. We guessed that the colour would change. We predicted what would happen next.

Finlay and Charlie discovered they could transfer the ‘potion’ in lots of ways. They constructed a plan but adapted it many times. They extended each other’s ideas.

Kara and Jamie worked and chatted together. “I’m making potions to poison the robbers. If robbers come we will save the nursery.” “I love this turkey baster.”

For too many children, curiosity fades. Curiosity dimmed is a future denied. Our potential — emotional, social, and cognitive — is expressed through the quantity and quality of our experiences.

There is no “right” way for children to do messy play. This builds self-confidence and self-esteem.

“We are proud of our potions. They are just pretend.”

Fin and Charlie are wizards. They are mixing, constructing, calculating, demonstrating, analysing and making decisions. They are thinking!