I am trying to say “Yes!” more to their ideas for extending play, even if they are messy. After building their ‘Frozen’ castles, they asked to paint the windows with shaving foam. I’m so glad I agreed!


  • Shaving foam
  • Window
  • Paint brushes


Step 1: Ioan showed Finn how to make handprint butterflies.

Step 2: Once they had covered most of the glass in shaving foam, they swapped and used the paint brushes to draw in the foam.

Step 3: They stopped to observe the birds and Finn tried to draw the squirrel that was running around the patio. With two very busy boys, this was a great opportunity for them to slow down and just watch nature.

Step 4: Back to creating and mark making.

I can’t over-emphasise how much Ioan has improved with messy play. Up until recently, he needed a lot of encouragement. Even as a young boy he hated getting his hands messy. It was only during our bell and pinecone paintings last month that he asked to use his hands for the first time. Now we’ve unleashed a dragon.

DfES Early Learning Goals (2017)

Physical development

ELG 04 – Moving and handling:

Children show good control and co-ordination in large and small movements. .They handle equipment and tools effectively, including pencils for writing.

Personal, social and emotional development

ELG 06 – Self-confidence and self-awareness:

Children are confident to try new activities, and say why they like some activities more than others.

Understanding the world

ELG 14 – The world:

Children talk about the features of their own immediate environment and how environments might vary from one another. They make observations of animals and plants and explain why some things occur, and talk about changes.

Expressive arts and design

ELG 16 – Exploring and using media and materials:

Children safely use and explore a variety of materials, tools and techniques, experimenting with colour, design, texture, form and function.