What is Messy Play Day?

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Messy Play Day is hands-on fun designed for children age 18 months to 3 years old and their parent or caregiver.

The environment is hands-on and play based which means there is lots of fun stuff to squish, squeeze, touch, smear and smell.  For those who prefer the dry stuff there are books to read, puzzles to take apart, and blocks to build with. 

Messy Play Day is a safe environment for the child to have autonomy and explore. The child gets to decide where they go and what they touch! It's perfectly OK for them to sit with the play dough for 10 minutes. It's OK for them to always start out painting. It is up to them and when they are ready they will do something else.

At the end of each class there is a short group activity like a song, movement, or story, and we strongly encourage the grown-ups to join in too! Most toddlers usually just like to watch.

Messy Play Day provides an opportunity for children to play be side-by-side but it is also a good opportunity for parents and caregivers to connect. Our hope is that you will find a friend here too!    


Messy Play Day and  Child Development 18 months to 3 years

Our approach is based on what is called Developmentally Appropriate Practice (DAP). This means we are looking to where children are developmentally in how we work with them.  

For example, this is mostly the age of re-direction. Sharing is not language we use because it is a concept that they are not capable of grasping. Toddlers need concrete examples and options. So we introduce words such as trading and taking turns.

We know that two year olds assume ownership of everything they see, touch and taste so we can make plans to accommodate that. We know that some young children cannot sit still, so we can provide activities that allow for lots of movement. We know that the first response for many young children is to put everything to the mouth so we make sure everything is safe to do so.

That's what Messy Play Day is for, to provide your child a place where they can explore safely, can be who they are in the moment, and HAVE FUN!!!!

Child Development 18 months to 3 years


Messy Play Day Guidelines

  • Come dressed for the mess!
  • Wipe or wash messy hands before going to the carpet area.
  • Try to keep messy materials away from the carpet.
  • Expect a full range of emotions from your child.  It's OK for your child to be upset.  This is a safe, child friendly environment that respects everyone’s right to their feelings. Please do not put your child in time out. If you are feeling overwhelmed and need help with appropriate discipline techniques just ask, we can help.
  • If you and your child have had enough for the day it’s OK to leave. Some days are just like that!
  • No food in the class. Please give your child a snack before class starts.
  • Our school is NUT FREE so please don't bring in anything with nut ingredients.
  • Our school is FRAGRENCE FREE, please refrain from wearing perfumes.