Mess Does Not Equal Stress: Making the Case for Discovery-Based Play

Katie Clausen


Children’s librarians have no shortage of ideas for getting messy in the library. From paint to Play-Doh to shredded paper, the opportunities are endless.

We, as professionals, know why discovery-based play is important; does our administration, our maintenance department, or our board? I’d like to share some language I use to give stakeholders and staff a framework for the why behind the mess. My hope is that you can use these talking points to introduce or enhance messy play programs in your library.

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