Learning and the five senses

Did you know that even as adults we only remember 20% of what we read, 30% of what we hear, 40% of what we see, 50% of what we say, 60% of what we do and 90% of what we see, hear, say and do!  

This is why Little Messy Learners classes are so much more than messy play. The educational structure behind the classes engages children in a way of learning by using five of their senses. Through these senses, they learn how to make key marks for pre-writing skills.

Research shows that for children to learn effectively they need to use as many of their senses as possible to learn and also to memorise what they have learned. 

How do the children engage with their five senses in the classes?

Sound/listening –

  • At the start of the class the class leader will sit parents and children down and talk about the mark of the day.
  • The class leader will use music and singing to engage the child with the mark they are learning, music stimulates the memory making part of our brain

Movement –

  • At the start of the class when the music is playing, the children will be encouraged to ‘dance the mark’. Using ribbons and scarves the class leader will take them through the marks by dancing. This is great for developing gross motor skills too.
  • During the class the children will be using lots of different tools to make their marks, this will encourage them to lean forward, push objects, pick up smaller objects etc. This creates muscle memory and fine motor skills.
  • Movement also helps to build balance, a key development step, especially for young children.

Touch –

  • At the start and end of the class, the class leader will encourage the children to draw the marks on themselves using their fingers; the parents will do this for the babies of the group. By doing this the children ‘feel’ the mark they have been learning
  • The activities are multi sensory, dry, wet, slimy, hard, soft etc. All these things allow children to process their environment and memorise what things feel like and how they can shape and move different objects and textures.

Smell –

  • Whether its play dough, paint or chalk, all of the different items used in the classes will have a different smell. For babies especially this is a huge part of how they learn. They will form memories of colours and objects based on how they smell, and whether they like the smell or not!

Taste –

  • Not all of our activities are recommended for eating! But they are non-toxic! Have you noticed that your baby puts everything in their mouth? Babies learn more through putting objects in their mouth than they do from looking at them! It provides them with a sense of their size, shape and texture.  

So in summary:

  • Engaging all the senses is the most effective way for children to learn
  • Different activities will engage different fine and gross motor skills
  • Dancing and movement will enhance your child’s balance and strength
  • Using all the senses your child can start making memories and learning


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