Tuesday 29 September 2020

BABY & TODDLER: How to Create Sensory Messy Play at Home with Messy Senses

BABY & TODDLER: How to Create Sensory Messy Play Home with Messy Senses
*Advertorial Content - Gifted Item
Since lockdown began back in March we haven't be able to go to any children's classes because essentially it isn't safe enough to do so. This not only has had a massive impact on the businesses themselves, but also has meant our babies, toddlers and children have missed out on the opportunities these classes offer too. As we are now six months into this 'new' way of life and it is becoming evident quite how tricky it is for baby and toddler classes to resume; now is the perfect time to consider how we as parents can recreate some aspects of these classes at home.
Messy Senses is a family run business that is passionate about giving children the opportunity to learn through play, specifically focusing on exploration rather than an end product. Pre-Coronavirus they ran weekly classes throughout Leicestershire, which were all about giving children the opportunity to get messy, explore their five senses and play with peers too. Another core aspect of Messy Senses is their dedication to supporting local charities, providing bespoke consultancy services and training related to Special Educational Needs, Autism and complex health care needs. They also run intergenerational sessions, which are proven to benefit both children and the elderly alike. The ethos of Messy Senses and the work they do is so inspirational, so if you'd like to support or follow their journey then I'd highly recommend following Messy Senses on Facebook for updates and information. 
We have been going to Messy Senses classes since Isabella was a little toddler, they were the first classes we went to back when Poppy was first born, Isabella and Poppy have had a Messy Senses Birthday Party and they were again the first classes we went to after I had Rory (in fact he was was three weeks old when we started a new term of classes!). I think it is fair to say that we love Messy Senses classes and have had a pleasure of introducing, recommending and experiencing the classes with lots of friends too. 
Sadly, these had to come to abrupt stop in March and with all of the new guidelines and regulations in place starting the classes back up again is only just starting to happen and in a completely different format. Not ones to let this stop children embrace sensory play, they have created Monthly Sensory Boxes that can be enjoyed in the safety of your own home. Each month there is a different theme, for example colours or autumn, and then inside is filled with 10-12 items that allow you to create 5-6 different sensory activities. The easiest and quickest way to not only keep your little ones entertained, but also help support their sensory development all while supporting an inspirational small business. Win, win in my opinion! 
Each Sensory Box is £13 and can either be delivered within a 15 mile radius of postcodes LE8 or LE17. There is also an option to collect from either of these postcodes if you live outside of the areas. You can order the Sensory Boxes on the Messy Senses website, just make sure you leave you phone number if you want to organise a collection. 
We were kindly sent the Autumn Sensory Box, which Rory and Poppy had great fun exploring. Inside the box they found:

  • Woodland Face Mask
  • Orange Lentils - Ideal for mark making with hands, feet or utensils (Rory loved using the tub of lentils as a rattle too)
  • 4x Fir Cones - Texture exploration - are they smooth? Soft? Rough?
  • 5x Conkers - Texture exploration
  • Green Spaghetti - Rory's favourite to cover himself in!
  • 5x Artificial autumn leaves - You can use these to hide them in the spaghetti, practice counting, play matching games etc.
  • Bag of Dried Lavender - How does it smell? 
  • Autumn Tree Letter Laminate - An educational activity for slightly older little ones of matching letters to the tree
  • 26x Autumn Leaf Letters for the above game
  • 2x Animal Stampers - Make a picture using the stamps
  • Red Kidney Beans - Consider words to describe them, squeeze them, press them or in Rory's case...cover yourself in them
  • Woodland Bean Bag - Fun activity of balancing it on your head, play catch or listen to the sounds it makes
  • Finger Puppet - Take it on woodland walks, put on a puppet show or use it to model playing with other items in the box
  • Chocolate Squirrel Lollipop - what a treat!
  • Cardboard Box - The box everything comes beautifully presented in is perfect for mark making, being transformed into a play kitchen or simply being decorated before going in the recycling.
As you can see each box is filled with a range of items, ideas for activities and enables us parents to bring messy play home for our little ones to enjoy. A tuff tray is ideal for these activities, but if you don't have one a large cardboard/plastic box to sit on would work perfectly or you could even take everything outside to enjoy where tidying up is even easier.
Life is tough for businesses of all shapes and sizes at the moment, but specifically smaller businesses like Messy Senses. Showing your support by liking their Facebook page, Instagram page, liking their posts, sharing them with friends, recommending through word of mouth, commenting on their posts etc. is all free to do and means the world to small business owners. So, let's all club together and support these small businesses that simply can't get back to what they were doing!

Feel free to leave a comment - I love reading every single one :)

Helen x


  1. This is great and looks so enjoyable and fulfilling. We sometimes used to get the shaving foam out at home and the kids loved that.

  2. This is such a lovely idea. Babies and toddlers don't have a chance of understanding why they can't see their little buddies but having something like this to do at home is a wonderful idea x

  3. This sounds like great fun I am going to look into these for my grandchildren as they will love them

  4. This is such a great idea - what a lovely way to encourage children to learn and explore different colours and textures!

  5. This sounds like such a fun idea to do with a toddler, sensory play seems like such an important thing to get kids involved in.

  6. This box looks like a lot of fun and is a great way for children to express creativity and learn. Also really helpful for coordinating with a group of others while not in school.

  7. This box looks absolutely brilliant for little ones! I would have loved this for my daughter when she was younger!

  8. Aw this looks like such a fab box to both enjoy learning and play too. Very clever idea this x

  9. This looks like a great way to get into sensory play for toddlers. Lovely photos too by the way.

  10. What a fantastic box from Messy Senses and one which I would have loved to have if my kids were younger. I think messy play is so important so will be sharing this with my bestie who has a 1 year-old as she would appreciate this

  11. The sensory play sounds such a good idea and so much fun for kids to enjoy interactive play.

  12. Messy Senses sound like a really great small business. The box from them looks wonderful - sensory play is so important.

  13. This looks a wonderful idea! Randomly stumbled across this blog as I was looking for info on having a boy after two girls... then I was shocked as our first born (2010) is called Isabella, followed by our second daughter (born 2014) called Poppy. Our son will be called Hugo and is due in a couple of months. Glad you are keeping well in lockdown

  14. This looks like a fabulous box to help encourage sensory play - I know many parents don't know where to start

  15. I love messy play for younger kids and these boxes seem really great for little ones.

  16. Okay this sounds so great! When Luke was younger, I used to do a lot of messy sensory play with him. Now that Oscar's 2, I'd love to do the same with him but I find I just don't have the time to set it all up. So this sounds like a great way to get sensory play in for people like me!

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