A ‘Mess Around’ Birthday Party

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Last August we attended a ‘Mess Around’ messy play session at a local village hall, both of my girls thoroughly enjoyed the session.

Today my eldest daughter, Amber (4) attended a joint 5th Birthday Party for 2 of her school friends. Amber got straight in to explore the materials and we were impressed with the different messy play experiences on offer, Amber was a huge fan of the ‘Ice Cream Exploration’ Tuff Spot tray, where she was able to make her own ice cream cone with sprinkles!

 

Another popular Tuff Spot tray for Amber was the Fairy one which included fairy figures, with little cups full of custard and artificial grass for effect. Amber, of course, wanted to explore with all of her senses and had a little try of the orange jelly!

 

I am always so impressed how well thought out and carefully placed the various areas of the Mess Around sessions are. Other trays included: A number 5 made from coloured rice, A Dinosaur land which included various types of lettuce a rainbow made from brightly coloured spaghetti, a water tray full of sensory beads and a drain pipe ramp with pink soap, cups and balls, there was also a big strip of paper to paint on at the front of the hall, with a variety of different utensils to paint with. A really nice touch was a canvas that was given to each of the children who hosted the party with a hand print from every child that attended.

 

There was also a long table set out for play dough, and we made a special creature using the play dough, pipe cleaners, Googly eyes and sequins.

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Early on in the session Amber had spotted the foam machine that she had loved at the end of the Mess around session we had attended the previous August, she was delighted when the foam started!

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What a fantastic way to end a fabulous Mess Around session!

I have written a previous review after we attended a Mess Around organised session last August:

Mess Around session review

 

Mess Around have a national website:

www.messarounduk.com

Our local area is:

www.messarounduk.com/worcestershire

 

Thanks for reading ๐Ÿ™‚

‘Mess Around’ session

At the end of July ‘Mess Around’ did a session at Lou’s new school, as she wasn’t able to attend I searched their website and was delighted to find that a session was being held on 6th August at a local village hall, only a few miles away from where we live. 

‘Mess Around’ provide messy play sessions from babies aged 6 months old, (sitting unaided) to children aged 5. These sessions are run all over the UK.

I was keen to book Lou onto the session as she thrives on messy, or sensory activities. I also wanted Moo to experience the session as she’s more on the move now and has already taken an interest in messy play, particularly sand and water play.

There was a great variety of experiences set out all over the hall including:

โ— Yellow gloop

โ— Coloured rice 

โ— Coloured spaghetti 

โ— Ribbons and streamers

โ— Paint with a variety of rollers and painting tools

โ— Purple play dough with cupcake moulds and stand

โ— Sand tray 

โ— Water tray including water beads 

โ— Coloured rice pudding 

โ— Balloons covered in shaving foam and tennis rackets/swatters 

โ— Coloured porridge oats – made into a Union Jack pattern 

This all made for a very inviting a colourful site on a ‘Carnival Sports Party’ them, which tied in nicely with the start of the 2016 Olympic games in Rio. The session included music of a up-beat, party style. 

The organisers had taken a lot of care and attention in laying out the materials on the sports party theme, and included medals and cups into the ‘Tuff Spot’ or builder’s tray. 

We hadn’t encountered ‘water beads’ before, both Lou and Moo were fascinated with their texture and Lou was surprised she could pick them up as she described them as “flat under the water.” 

We were fascinated with the yellow gloop mould that could be explored with cooking spoons and spatulas. 

The highlight of the session, especially for Lou, was the foam machine – at first she wasn’t sure but she got right in there and throughly enjoyed the feeling of the foam raining down! 

I would recommend Mess Around sessions to anyone, they are well organised and the staff are extremely helpful and friendly, they went around at various points with a bubble machine. There was an area that included wash bowls and towels to clean up at the end, it was also good to be reminded when booking the session to ensure the children wore old clothes so they could fully explore the materials on offer.

For more information please vist: 

Mess Around UK
To find a session.

Our session was run by Mess Around Worcestershire

Or visit their Facebook page.

Thanks for reading ๐Ÿ™‚ 

‘Crafty Cooks’ session

Crafty Cooks run regional cooking sessions for children from 2.5 years. They recognise that this is an important skill for young children. A Crafty Cooks session lasts for 1 hour and is great for fussy eaters as the session includes tasting foods and where they come from. Children make both savoury and sweet items and a recipe card is handed out at the end of the session which can be referred to again. 

Lou attended a one-off holiday session, but for the children that attend weekly term-time sessions, they can collect lots of recipe sheets which can be kept in a canvas bag with the Crafty Cooks logo on.

In this session Lou made mini savory pasties. The children are given a set of equipment each and ingredients needed such as onion and jacket potato had been pre cooked. Lou made her own pastry, and each child could go up to the front to use some traditional weighted scales. As Lou is a ‘Sensory Seeker’ she thrived on using her hands to rub the butter and flour together, to make the mixture like ‘sand.’ I wish I’d been able to take photos of this process but it was lovely as parents are encouraged to get stuck in and help too! Lou also enjoyed squeezing the potato out of the jacket skin to help make the filling, and was delighted to use a cheese grater where she could turn the handle. 

To roll out the pastry and cut into circles reminded Lou of ‘play dough.’ She was happy to hand over her pasties on the oven tray for baking.

It was great that the children are encouraged to be independent, for example: To take their equipment to the sink area and get a cloth to help clean the table.

Once the pasties were baking in the oven the children were offered some potato wedges and a variety of cheeses to taste. I was keen for Lou to try cheese as we’re currently re-introducing dairy into her diet and she’s been unfamiliar with cheese after being dairy free from 6 months old. She tried different cheeses but she really enjoyed the sweet potato wedges, which I’ve made at home but she’s not wanted to try them until now. I’ll be making some more at home for her from now on! 

The end product pasties were lovely, we took them home wrapped in tin foil and Lou tried one for lunch and enjoyed it, and also saved one for daddy as “pasties are his favourite!” 

It was great seeing Lou making the pasties and I think this encouraged her to try the end product as she’d made it herself. And with Lou being a fussy eater, this has encouraged me to bake more at home with Lou. 

For more information please visit:

http://www.craftycooks.co.uk/
For the main website where you can search for sessions in your area. The session we attend was in a nearby village based at the session leader’s home.