Baby and Toddler Classes and Groups in Macclesfield and Surrounding Areas – Spotlight on Messy Play with Splat!
There are so many Baby and Toddler classes and groups in Macclesfield and surrounding areas it’s hard to know where to start! Messy play is a great activity for babies and toddlers of any age and the obvious advantage to messy play classes is that someone else has to clean up!!
Splat Messy Play is the go to class for babies from 5 months onwards and here, Rachael from Splat Messy Play East Cheshire gives us ten reasons to love messy play…to find out more about Rachael’s classes check out her Facebook page, website and follow her on Instagram.
1.Socialising – when you feel like you’re ready to take your little one out and about, messy play is a great way for them to meet and form friendships with other babies and children. Messy play doesn’t require words or movement which means that children of all ages and abilities can take part and play alongside each other. Splat Messy Play is suitable from 5 months to 5 years (I’m butting in here – we took 3 mini mumblers aged 6 months, 10 months and 2 along to a Splat Messy Play class and they loved it equally. You can read our full review here).
2. Adult socialising – its not just the kids who get to socialise. Parenting can be a lonely place when you only have someone who can’t yet converse for company! The format of messy play classes – relaxed, laid back and at your own pace – means that the grown ups can chat at their leisure, get to know each other and form friendships whilst their little ones play and get messy!
3. Physical development – taking part in messy play gives children the opportunity to develop key skills through having fun. Fine motor skills, for example, are improved when the little ones cut, write in crazy soap or paint and use tongs. They also get to practice their hand-eye coordination through fun activities such as stirring, stacking and pouring and to learn about and compare different textures. By navigating the various activities and play stations, babies and children start to understand their own body space as well as learning to respect other personal space, and to share.
4. Adults learning to play – whilst having a baby is a wonderful experience, it can also bring with it a whole host of challenges – getting to grips with sleeping and feeding routines is one thing but there’s also the car seat, buggy and pushchair to master to name just a few. On top of that, you suddenly have a little person who wants to play with you – this doesn’t come naturally for everyone so spending time with your baby in a messy play setting supports adults and helps them to gain the confidence they need to play with their little ones and to teach, support and guide them.
5. Emotional development – there are no boundaries with messy play – it tunes onto a child’s natural curiosity and can be enjoyed by children of all ages and abilities. There are no rights and wrongs with messy play – children are encouraged to take part and enjoy the new experiences at their own pace – as a result messy play builds self-confidence and self esteem.
6. Mess aversion support – having an aversion to mess is fairly common. Mess, however, is an unavoidable part of parenting – babies will get messy when eating, drinking, playing – when doing pretty much anything!! Some times in a child’s life are messier than others – weaning, self feeding and potty training are all pretty messy. Parents need to accept mess and children shouldn’t be afraid of it – it’s all part of the learning process. Messy play allows adults and children alike to grow used to mess in a fun, safe environment.
7. Communication – when taking part in a messy play class babies and children are encouraged to speak and listen to both their parents and peers. Throughout the course of the class they use both words and actions to negotiate and share the play stations, take turns and play.
8. Creativity – participants have endless opportunities to use their imagination and develop their creativity through using the wide range of materials and resources available in class. Those resources provide the children with a wide range of sensory experiences – they enjoy a variety of different colours, textures and shapes and the new things they see, hear, feel, touch and smell teach participants different ways to express their feelings and thoughts.
9. Mathematical exploration – as well as being great fun, messy play encourages mathematical exploration!! Whilst getting stuck in filling containers with water, bubbles, paint, slime and anything else they can find, building with blocks and sorting toys, the little ones learn and practice counting, calculating and measurement.
10. Mess without the mess – by joining in a messy play class, grown ups can ensure their little ones receive all the fun and benefits of messy play without having to do it at home. Throughout the class the babies and children play freely with, and crawl or toddle through, paint, slime, water and anything else we can think of – and you don’t have to clean any of it up!! What’s not to love?!
Rachael runs messy play classes in East Cheshire including in Macclesfield as well as in Baguley and Northern Moor.