Embrace the mess; all of it!

I’ve always loved seeing photos of babies entangled in spaghetti, head-to-toe in paint and exploring the joys of mud, so I was pretty keen to find out more about this whole ‘sensory play’ thing.

I guess I first realised that Felix was becoming more aware of his senses when he fully embraced the foil blanket. He embraced it so much that we put one in his Christmas stocking. For a cheap ‘n’ cheerful gift it provides hours – and I really do mean hours – of fun.

If you can get over the louder-than-is-strictly-necessary ‘rustle’, that is.

Foil Blanket Fun!
I wish I found a foil blanket this hilarious!

Anyway… shortly after Christmas I discovered a group in our village called Splat Messy Play. I hadn’t heard of this before, but upon glancing on their Facebook page, I thought this was definitely something Felix would enjoy.

He was seven months old and becoming acutely aware of his senses. Everything was either eaten or explored with impossible accuracy with his tiny little fingers, so this seemed perfect.

The added bonus was that I was, of course, back to work so it would be my mother-in-law’s role to take him; something she was genuinely over the moon about!

Ticks all round; hurrah!

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Messy play with Grandma! Photo Credit: Splat Messy Play Lincoln.

I remember going to pick Felix up on the evening after his first class and being pleasantly surprised at how clean he was. I loved hearing about how much fun he’d had eating everything and covering himself in paint, and goodness knows what else, but felt a pang of jealousy that I couldn’t be involved.

There it is; mum guilt again!

Anywho… After each session Michelle, who runs our local group, shares photos of the class and it was amazing to see him in such a gloriously messy state!

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Apparently eating paint is his new favourite pastime. Photo Credit: Splat Messy Play Lincoln.

I’m a huge advocate of messy play. Not only is it another fantastic class for mums, dads, grandparents etc. to get themselves out to and meet and converse with other adults, but it’s been fantastic for Felix’s development.

He’s exploring the world using sight, touch, smell, taste and sound and it’s been amazing to see how this class has helped develop him in terms of his motor skills, social skills and general bonkers creativity.

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Photo Credit: Splat Messy Play Lincoln.

Every week follows a different theme, whether it be Mother’s Day or dinosaurs and pretty much everything in between, so there is always something to spark the senses.

Everything they use is baby safe which is so important and reassuring, and it’s definitely helped me to create activities for him that I wouldn’t have thought him ready for otherwise – probably just me denying that he’s growing up and not a teeny, tiny, helpless little baby anymore…

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This was ‘Easter Week’ – I’m led to believe he devoured most of the chocolate Shreddies and thoroughly enjoyed donning his bonnet for the hour! Photo Credit: Splat Messy Play Lincoln.

This post is in no way sponsored by Splat but I wanted to share with you why I love this class so much and how influential I think it has has been in Felix’s development over the last three months or so.

They have a list on their website of all the benefits to sensory play, if you’re interested, and also links to your local classes.

Again, not sponsored, just a fan!

I know that not everyone can afford to take up classes; there are so many available covering a whole range of things from swimming to sensory play, music to dancing, picking the right one for you, your baby and your budget can be tough, but there’s loads you can do at home, too! A friend of mine recently set up a page on Facebook where she posts fab daily ideas for sensory play using household items. Go check her out!

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The one session I have been to so far was aptly themed Mother’s Day. My husband and I both took Felix and it’s fair to say that we discovered his love of mud! Photo Credit: Splat Messy Play Lincoln.

 

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