Messy Play: Evaluation from an Anxious Mum.

So todays the day. Full of anticipation we head to the venue for the messy play birthday party not really knowing what to expect, but thinking the worse; swimming in baked beans, paint flying everywhere and mouthfuls of shaving foam. Yes, from seeing a few photos online my imagination has gone crazy.

Check out my original post ‘What’s This Messy Play All About?’

What to Wear

Something old and comfortable, that you don’t mind getting stained. This is something else I found hard to get my head around, after all birthday party usually equals party dress. However, to make the most of the event children need to wear something practical that they can run about in and something they don’t mind getting dirty. My daughter wore an old t-shirt and dark leggings which had gone a bit short on her.

Also think about what you’re wearing, as you know how those sticky little hands can get everywhere.

What You'll Need

Arm yourself with baby wipes, change of clothes, a towel and an open mind. Messy play is supposed to be fun and all products used should be child friendly, so relax.

Messy play station ideas - Cooked coloured spaghetti, cereal farm, dried coloured rice and playdough

Messy Play Stations

The Party...

As we arrived with parcel underarm, the ‘Messy Play’ lady was setting up each play station which gave me a good chance to be nosey and check out what type of mess we’d be dealing with. And guess what? Not a single baked bean in sight! 

Each station was set out beautifully and included items such as coloured cooked spaghetti, different types of cereal, dried coloured rice and jelly. There was a bit of paint, but it was all quite controlled; a couple of plates of paint, brushes, rollers and a very large sheet of paper.

Messy Play fun- lots of different materials and textures, from Spaghetti junction, a rice tea party and a cereal farm.

Messy Play - look at that face!

My daughter was very excited to get stuck in (so much so that she had a tantrum because she wasn’t allowed to play when the lady was setting up). We enjoyed a tea party with the dried coloured rice, we weren’t that fussed on the texture of the cooked spaghetti and my daughter thought she’d found the buffet when playing with the cereal farm (yes, she had a taste of everything!).

Thankfully she stayed away from the paint and only had a slight play with the sloppy jelly. The best bit though came right at the end and was the fake snow! My daughter really enjoyed dancing in the snow and where she had kept quite clean and dry before, she was now covered in foam.

The Verdict

I think fun was had by all.

For myself, I think each activity was definitely more controlled than I had imagined, the children were allowed to have fun exploring and discovering different materials and textures without creating an almighty chaos.

My daughter loved the experience, she really got stuck in although I was a bit surprised that there were a few textures that she wasn’t too fussed on and asked to have her hands wiped (I blame Daddy for that one). The fake snow and cereal farm were definitely the favourites.

Messy Play is definitely something we would do again in the future, and we’ll be able to approach the event with a lot more enthusiasm, however I don’t think we’ll be having a messy play party of our own. We’re going to stick with the bouncy castle and soft play.

As always, I’d love to know what you think…

Messy play - before and after

Messy Play - Before and After