J and I were thrilled to find a new messy-play class taking place in Solihull this month! Run by two primary teachers, Jess and Gina, Texture Time had all the foundations in place for an excellent group. They ran 5 sessions to begin with, and we were lucky enough to be invited along…
Around 20 children, aged between 6 months and 5 years were there, all eager to start. Each session began with a ‘Hello’ song, which is great for preparing the young children for the start of the class. This was followed by a couple of songs to get everyone’s energy up, and to introduce the theme! They have a lovely selection of instruments, which the littler children especially love playing with.
Each week had a different theme:
- Down on the Farm
- A Day at the Seaside
- We’re Going On A Bear Hunt
Jess introduced all of the messy play stations, explaining which materials are used, and how these can help your children to learn! There are 6-8 stations each week, with varying degrees of mess… Materials included: cereal, ribbons, shaving foam, plastic balls, paint, jelly and pasta, yoghurt, cornflour and water gloop, soil, ice cream, foil, water beads, custard, and sand!
Each station was very well designed, with lots of appealing colours and textures. They fit each theme very well, and Jess and Gina have been very creative in their approach to each one. There are games and tasks to complete with each material, which was a great idea for the older children. They have music playing throughout the class, which is proven to enhance the learning experience in children – and goes a long way towards creating a great atmosphere.
Each session concluded with a ‘goodbye’ song and lots of bubbles! The kids were exhausted and very messy, having all really enjoyed themselves. They really embraced each station, as was apparent by everyone’s reluctance to leave. Some lovely baked goodies on the way out concluded a brilliant hour!
Texture Time has just concluded its first 5-week course, but there are already plans in place to begin a second one! It is a brilliant class to try with young children, which I would highly recommend. The idea of starting and finishing with some singing is a great way to give structure to the class, and it’s nice to find a session that incorporates music with more visual art forms.
Try it yourself:
Try some messy play at home using a simple household item – shaving foam! It feels really strange to little fingers, and is really fun to squeeze and spread around. Mixing it with non-toxic paints (like these ones) makes some lovely swirly patterns – a bit like tie-dye! Take this activity into the garden if you’re worried about the furniture. This activity feels very naughty, as it is so messy, so choose an appropriate soundtrack to go with it – I think music from Matilda is very suitable.