When Jo asked us to come and try out Messy Monkeys, we were so excited! I’d already heard such fab things about the class and as my mini Mumbler has a reputation at nursery for being the king of messy play, I knew this would be right up his street!
Before the class, Jo sent a welcome e-mail with details about the class, the venue and a link to google maps so we had an idea where we were going. She also told us to wear old clothes, that we don’t mind getting messy and to bring a towel and flannel (more on this later). We went to a mixed aged class, which was great because it means that older pre school siblings can attend too. Messy Monkeys also runs a Splatterday Class once a month, on a Saturday for parents and carers who might not be able to attend the weekdays classes due to work commitments.
We found the venue with no problems (thanks to the map) and when we went inside, the excitement on Noah’s face was so funny. He could see the activities all set up and wanted to get stuck in! Jo welcomed everyone to the session and started off by getting everyone to sing the Messy Monkeys song. There are very few ‘rules’ at Messy Monkeys and the main one is to have fun! Jo explained that it’s a space for little ones to be free, explore, and do the things that they can’t really do at home, or even nursery. Let’s face it, n0-one wants a paint covered child running around at home, but what an amazing sensory experience it would be for them. Well at Messy Monkeys, that’s exactly what they can do.
Then it was time to have fun, and get messy! This week was extra special because Messy Monkeys are supporting Children’s Activities Week click here for more info and the theme was Watch Me Fly. There were seven activities set up – painting, water play, sand, feathers, spaghetti, home made play-doh and a make wand station. Every session includes a mixture of wet and dry activities and over a half term these will be different each week so the little ones get to experience a really wide range of activities. Everything is also totally safe should your little one decide to they want to taste it.
There was no hesitation from Noah, he was straight in there! Although we have paints at home, we don’t get them out all that often. The mess, the clean up, the risk of bright red finger prints on my walls…… none of that matters at Messy Monkeys though, the children are encouraged to play and explore and without anyone telling them not to mix the paint colours, or not to paint their body. So of course he went for the paint. And it was so much fun! He painted himself and the delight on his face as he did was just glorious. And I didn’t tell him ‘no’ or to ‘stop’, which at first felt strange, but at the same time really liberating – for both of us. He worked his way round all the stations, but I have to say the paint and blue water were the absolute favourites. Most of the little ones just wore their vests and a normal nappy, although you can buy a Messy Monkeys T Shirt too if you wanted to. I would also definitely advise that you wear clothes that you don’t mind getting messy so that you can play too!
At the end of the session, Jo prepares each little one their own warm bath to get clean in. This little touch is actually amazing. Not only for getting clean, but I found it totally relaxed Noah and he was happy to get snuggled in his towel and get dressed afterwards. In fact, he was so relaxed that he was asleep in the car before we left the car park!
Thank you Messy Monkeys, we had an amazing time!
Messy Monkeys run classes in lots of Stockport Venues