I may need to start this post off by saying that this event was the most difficult event to photograph ever! From the get-go it was like the Hunger Games, one by one the kids enter the sports hall and are given strict instructions to line up against the wall so that all the kids have a chance to see the set up untouched and so they can all start together. I find this difficult and judging by the cries around the room other parents are in the same boat as me. I literally have to hold Cora back, she is ready! Off goes the buzzer (it could have been a whistle, I’m not sure because I was busy) and off the kids go! I quickly take snaps at each stop carefully trying not to get other children in, I really like the fact that some children have ‘no photos please’ stickers on so that their privacy is respected! It was a lost cause trying to get a picture of anything pre-toddler attack!
Being a ‘little Monica Geller’ as I like to call her, Cora sticks to her guns and stays clean. There are tubs of melted chocolate and messy spaghetti but she isn’t interested in them, if you look at all the pictures you will see she actually isn’t very messy! There is even a point where Cora finds a lone spaghetti string in the wrong tub, picks it up and places it back where it should be. Does this mean she isn’t having fun? Absolutely not, she loves it and it’s great that there is something for every type of tot!
This is the first time I’ve experienced a messy play, I’ve heard other parents rave about them and they are very important for children’s development. On the outside, it looks silly and like they’re all just going a bit nuts but what actually is happening is that they are developing their fine motor skills and enhancing brain activity by creating a sensory environment. You can see this clearly in the set up from the first two pictures, tweezers and little pom poms, something so simple but effective!
Out of all the sections, Cora spends most of her time at the ‘Egg Run’… a slide for an egg! This session is an hour long but there is so much to explore so i try to coax her into other sections but she ultimately runs back to the egg slide. I make a mental note on how it is constructed so i can make one at home!
This event is aimed at younger children but older siblings are welcome and have their own arts and crafts set up. Anything that is created by the children can be taken home and they are also awarded a certificate for completing the messy play!
The session ends with a mini foam party in the corner, Cora didn’t join the group (I’m guessing because of the foam…too messy haha) but she does hop around the room to the music and we have a dance together. It’s a moment that truly makes me happy!
I would highly recommend the event to all parents, it is set up by an independent company called Mess Around and they often tour around the North. I can’t wait to see if they do anything for Christmas!!
Let me know in the comments if you’ve ever been to a Mess Around event or if you have any DIY messy play ideas!!