I recently took my daughter to a messy play session. £6.50 for 1 hour of planned messy play.
We could’ve just done it at home but quite frankly I hate messy play. Before children I honestly thought I’d be one of those mums who were really relaxed about mess, dirt and anything that meant my unborn children were having fun. Apparently not.
Attempts at messy play in our house are hugely hindered by not having the greatest spaces to do it in (carpeted dining room/lounge) but also it just creates, well a mess. The last time we did painting my daugther accidently knocked over a pot of purple paint that sprayed pretty much everything. Her interest in the painting activity lasted approximately 5 minutes and I spent 45 cleaning up paint.
I confess I even groan at playdoh. The baby eats it, the toddler enjoys it. But there is an inevitable mess and the colours get mixed up and create a rainbow vomit.
So I thought we’d basically throw money at it (and a rather dwindling pot now at the end of maternity leave) and take my daughter to somewhere we could get really mucky and I genuinely wouldn’t care.
Spaghetti painting, shaving foam, mud pies. It was fun. My daughter liked it and so did I. It was great to spend time just us where we could play and I wasn’t distracted by the usual domestic bullshit. I loved making clay worms, and so did my daughter. She enjoyed spaghetti painting, but these were all short lived. The biggest joy – the sand pit. THE SAND PIT. We have this at home. Outside, in a place I am more than happy to make a mess.
The woman running the session was so chilled. I bet she lets her kids make a crazy amount of mess and is really relaxed about it. She said to me “Some parents bring their children here and they really struggle with mess at home.”
I nodded in a “not me, I’m so relaxed about this kind of thing” but meant “this is me you’re describing”.