Leigh Messy Play
Houghton-le-spring messy play

Don't fear the MESS!


Eeee! That’s gross! No way!

So many people seem to be put off by messy play because of their fear of one little tiny, teeny word… mess. “I don’t like mess!” “It looks gross!” “I couldn’t cope with that!” “My baby hates being dirty!” “My child is too old for that!” I’ve heard them all and honestly, I completely understand. But please: DON’T Fear the mess! Actually, don’t tell anyone but I hate mess too!! However, I hate it for the right reasons. And in my own home. I hate it at dinner time; In my lounge; In my bedrooms, on MY clothes! But, I don’t hate it in my kids playroom and I certainly don’t hate it in my classroom or my messy play classes.. Why? Because children have to make a mess sometimes to learn!! They have to play and be free and uninhibited and HAVE FUN!

Organisation and repetition is key!

I’m not condoning mindless vandalism here. Nor trashing the place of course, but some mess on the floor and some paint on toes and fingers is all fixable. Everything can be wiped and cleaned. At home, toys can be sorted and tidied and actually my children are fairly well trained now and do a brill job of tidying their play room. I’ve trained them up and made sure everything has a home, so really I’ve laid the foundations for a tidy room for them. In my classes we have a lot of repetition and a set format: A warm up session, free play in the educational messy play trays, tidy up time and then bath time.  Children need to learn that tidy up time is important and it gets them used to tidying up at nursery and of course at home too.

Embrace the mess!

Some people seem put off with trying messy play because they don’t like the idea of their baby being so messy. However, I have mums that have been coming for a year now and their babies COVER themselves in paint and glitter every week! They are now experts at giving them a dip in our little baths and making it look like it never happened! 🙂 I’m in awe of how they do it so quickly too! They literally strip the babes off – chuck everything in a bag, bathe and re-dress them within 5 minutes. One mum does this with 3!! And plenty do it with 2. I’m always around to hold babies and wrangle toddlers into clothes too! If you’re wondering why they would bother doing all of this then please just take a peak at these gorgeous smiling HAPPY babies having the time of their lives.


Thank you, Mamas!

These amazing mamas who’ve taken a chance on something a bit crazy and out of their comfort zones are giving their children the BEST start towards writing. They are setting them up to LOVE learning and to embrace things that are new and different. Our children at Little Learners classes are practicing SO much more than just making a mess! Perseverance, resilience, sharing, socialising, writing, problem solving… these are just SOME of the many skills these children are developing. And that’s all whilst having fun with their parent, snacking on some Jelly and having a giggle.

So, if you haven’t tried messy play yet because you’ve been put off by the mess, PLEASE reconsider. Above all else, your babies will love it and you’ll get some hilarious memories to treasure. Don’t fear the mess, embrace it! I promise you, you won’t regret it!

So come one – get booking a messy play class with us!

Holly, LL Southport xx


6 responses to “Don’t fear the MESS!”

  1. Elinor says:

    I love this and totally agree. The mess washes off but the learning stays x

    • Holly Benn says:

      Exactly! 🙂 the memories, the fun, the skills… it’s all still there after you’ve washed the paint off! People need to be brave! Afterall, isn’t that what we want our children to be? Xxx

  2. Lene says:

    love this blog… i love seeing the children and in some cases the parents get messier and just that little bit braver every week. I have one child who who walked round the tarp in week 1 and now in her 3rd term heads straight for the messiest trays and doesn’t need a wet wipe until the end. It is so true “do not fear the mess.”

  3. Karen Rushworth says:

    Fab blog Holly! Embrace the mess and watch them learn! x x

    • Holly Benn says:

      Exactly my darling 🙂 we love a bit of mess 🙂 thank you!! Xxx

  4. Kate Richardson says:

    Love this Holly! So true! X

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