Saturday, 16 March 2013

Mess Around - The fun way to have messy play

When Mummy N & I decided to do a joint party for Baby J & Baby L, we wanted to do something different, something fun and something memorable (for us, if not babies!). Having come across Mess Around via twitter we thought we’d give them a go.

Mess Around offers great entertainment for children of all ages to enjoy… and the adults too. At our party they set up 6 different zones –

1-      The sand pit with tools to dig, and buckets to create

2-      The water zone – tubs of water with pipes and toys

3-      Penguin Ice World – ice with goo and penguins [sadly not real]

4-      Foam zone –  with scrapers and spoons

5-      Coloured spaghetti – with pots and spoons

6-      Paint zone – a large mural for all to contribute towards

All those who came to our party loved it, as did we. After a brief explanation of what was on offer, and reassuring us that everything was safe for our babies [because as we all know it’s bound to end up in their mouths] by the Mess Around team, or Mess Around super heroes as I like to think of them, we were let loose on the mess! We all got stuck in! Everyone had been pre-warned about Mess Around being at our party and to dress babies in clothes that could get messed up [and to bring spare clothes] Mess Around also provided coveralls for anyone who had forgot or were concerned. So we all just swarmed towards it all.

Baby J and I head for Penguin World first, which was  icebergs [blocks of blue ice ] with goo, and model penguins. I think the cute models of penguins appealed to him, and his face was pure confusion when we reached out for the icebergs and felt how cold they were. He loved ‘wooshing’ them round in the goo, and splatting the penguins in it. Baby S also loved it and soon claimed all the penguins as hers – I have no idea how Mummy S managed to wrestle them off her at the end.

We next moved on to the foam zone, which was mound of glittery foam with tools for babies to play with it. The foam smelt  delightfully of coconut, how do I know this? Baby J decided that he’d load up one of the tools, and while mummy was chatting plonk it all on her J He loved squishing the foam through his hands and rubbing it everywhere, and I didn’t mind being covered at all!  Baby H was a little hesitant at first but soon got stuck in and was squealing with excitement.

Next stop was the water zone, where I was joined by Mummy E with Baby N, and Mummy Sa with Baby PP, they all got stuck in and were soon splashing themselves and each other. The toys were passed around and lots of waves created. Baby N loved it so much he climbed in, now some mums would of worried at this point but Mummy E said “He’s having so much fun he wanted to get close up to the action!” Luckily  she’d bought a spare outfit with her. The water tubs were at the perfect height so babies could reach in, splash around and grab the toys! Fab fun!!

The coloured spaghetti was next – Baby J was tentative at first and squished it in his hands, then after Uncle G plonked some on mummy, his confidence grew and he was soon picking it up and stretching it about. Baby J’s cousins joined him in the spaghetti and the three of them had great fun. Spaghetti got put on their heads they loved it! Picking up the bowls and moving it around, stretching it between them - amazingly none went in their mouths. Baby J did fling a lot of it around at the others which he got giggly about.


Daddy then took over in the sand pit  “Building sand castles is a man’s job” and squashing them down was Baby J’s. Daddy and Baby J had boy time building castles and raking it all up, then attacking the castles with spades. Lots of smiles and laughter all round. I noticed that the sand pit became a bit of a man zone with the few other daddies convening here.

I took this baby free moment to watch the paint zone as Baby R dabbed on some red paint to the mural. Seeing her expressions change as she saw what she’d done was priceless. Mummy P was on hand to encourage her and soon she was splashing it on like a pro. Other’s joined in and created an amazing masterpiece – WELL DONE!

I also notice Baby G bombing the boats in the water, Baby N having a tug of war match with the spaghetti,  Baby S  crawling through the sand giggling as she went, Baby So spreading the goo about in Penguin World [which was now minus its Penguins…] then holding up his hands to examine what was on them. Baby Ja in the foam zone spreading it about and splatting it down. Everyone was having such fun laughter was ringing out!

You are most probably thinking  ‘oh my goodness imagine all the mess, my place would get ruined’ fear not! Mess Around’s super heroes [Anna and Alix in our case] covered the floor with tarpaulin and all the zones were contained. I was amazed by how well it was kept together and didn’t spread.  They also set a washing zone where hands could be washed.

The Mess Around super heroes were also on hand to help with the activities and when needed , they circulated round encouraging babies to get stuck in, they were gentle with their approach, not pushy, which with something new like messy play was perfect.  When parents were unsure what to do they offered advice, and demonstrated how it was done.

Towards the end of the session the Mess Around super heroes circulated with a canvas and some paint and each of the guests left their handprints on a canvas for the birthday boys which was a lovely keepsake of the party. Everyone commented on how much they enjoyed the Mess Around Party, some mummies commented how inspiring it was seeing the babies enjoy the messy play,  that they would relax a bit more and let them have some fun at home too.

Mummy N and I were thrilled with party, it had the impact we wanted with a far better participation rate than what we expected.  We loved it as did the babies and as did the mummies and daddies who took part. When everything was cleared away there was no sign of any mess at all. Big thumbs up!

Thank you so much Mess Around for helping me give Baby J the best first birthday party a baby could have. I have some truly special photos of him having loads of fun. I would highly recommend Mess Around to anyone, not just for parties but for groups, nurseries, events, and special occasions. The Mess Around super heroes Alix and Anna were amazing, truly inspiring professionals. Before the party their communication made me feel reassured that they had everything covered, and they did.

So don’t delay book your Mess  Around session today and enjoy the messy fun. See the website below for information -

Slummy Mummy Seal of Approval granted!

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