Messy Play can be a fun and educational activity to take your baby to but it isn’t without its complications! Do the pros of messy play out weigh the cons?
Messy play is great for babies over 6 months. They have mega fun getting messy, it has educational value through its sensory nature, it’s unique as not something most people would do at home – who wants paint, spaghetti and gloop all over the floor! (It’s enough battle tidying after meal times.) plus babies get a bath at the end – one less job for this evening!
Mums should remember and take note of a few things however, lots of babies in the same place stripped down to their vests tasting and touching the same messy things is a breeding ground for bacteria and germs, if your baby is poorly, I’d definitely give this a miss for a couple of weeks. Also make sure the group where you are doing the activity follows safety guidelines – mats should be clean and have anti-bacterial spray handy, baby wipes ought to be available and baths rinsed between babies. Also keep an eye out for allergies, if you know your baby is allergic to something in particular ask the organisers for the packaging to read. If you don’t know, keep an eye out for warning signs (temperature, rash, general unease etc.) Choking is also a risk, keep a close eye on what your baby is putting in their mouths, some things should never be on offer for instance, mashed potato, marshmallows and uncut grapes.
It’s also worth mentioning it’s best not to put your baby feet first into whatever is on offer, allow them to take their time to investigate for themselves. Don’t be put off if on the first visit your baby gets upset before the end of the session – it’s a lot for little ones to take on board and can be very tiring.
My Top Tips for Messy Play Classes
- Arrive early to claim your floor space for undressing!
- Put baby into a dark vest – weird and wonderful ingredients may stain, but what one can’t see who cares.
- You will also get messy, don’t wear your best clothes, any scruffy joggers in the bottom of the washing basket will do. Particularly stay away from black, icing sugar and flour are popular messy play ingredients and you’ll spend forever beating it out. Or safeguard your clothes with handy disposable aprons (sometimes provided)