The key to a happy childhood? Getting messy and making dens, says York nursery

Natural curiosity… one of Little Bugs' young explorers
3 Jun 2016 @ 9.57 am
| Family

One in five children questioned in a recent survey didn’t know what a mud-pie was, and three out of five had never made one.

They were sadly unaware of the sheer joy of squishing together dirt, water, maybe a few leaves and the odd twig into a giant, gooey pile then inviting an adult to enjoy a slice with a cup of pretend tea.

But now one York nursery is trying to redress the balance by making messy play a key part of its daily curriculum.

“Getting messy, making dens, making sticky mud pies, making beautiful petal perfume – we actively encourage children to tackle challenges head on, just as we did as children.”

So says Jane Mann, manager of Little Bugs on the Web Adventure Park.

“Our approach to childcare and education is a little bit different.

Little Bugs

Little Bugs Childcare is run by experienced and qualified staff and has full and part time day care places for children aged between 0-5 years.

Conveniently located on Cliftongate Business Park, Wigginton Road, it is on the Web Adventure Park site and offers lots of exciting activities for children including exclusive use of Creepy Crawlies

After a recent extension Little Bugs can offer a limited number of extra spaces

Email Jane here

Or phone 01904 692221

“We support a child’s natural curiosity by providing them with a wide range of experiences and lots of positive interaction with well-trained, professional staff.”

Hands-on approach

Making friends at Little Bugs
Making friends at Little Bugs

Jane said that all children need “their own time to develop as creative and competent learners by providing them with inspiring spaces both indoors and out.

“Our main focus is to encourage children to fully experience their childhood in a fantastic hands-on way, just as we all did as children.”

This emphasis on messy play – highlighted by both Little Bugs and the survey, carried out by Persil – is a key element of childhood, according to the national Play England campaign group.

Programme development manager Steven Chown said: “Getting messy is part of a happy, healthy childhood and such play is linked with a range of cognitive and developmental benefits.

“Given the opportunity, today’s children would do exactly the same things as we did when we were children – climbing trees, making mud pies and splashing around in puddles – so it is important parents encourage this form of play and don’t worry too much about the mess.”

Have fun, and don't worry about the mess
Have fun, and don’t worry about the mess

Little Bugs offers self-contained full or part-time childcare for 0-5s, giving them the chance to get as messy as they like. It’s run by experienced, qualified staff, led by a former teacher with two children of her own (so she’s well aware of the needs of working families).

Found on the outskirts of York on Cliftongate Business Park, Wigginton Road, it offers lots of exciting activities for children including exclusive use of Creepy Crawlies play centre.