Messy play. *Shudder* The mere mention of glitter and glue used to have me twitching and reaching for the vacuum cleaner. Yes, I wanted to be cool, laid-back mama helping my children channel their inner Picasso. I just didn’t want to do it at home… One spilt paint pot too far and the house resembled a crime scene; red hand prints on the walls, paintbrushes being brandished like weapons and a toddler in the corner inhaling Prit Stick.
Which is why I was so thrilled to be invited to an Oglee Poglee craft workshop over half term. A chance to indulge the hooligans’ craft habit and flee the crime scene afterwards. Get out of jail free!
I was more than a little nervous – in my experience, Glue + Toddlers = ‘anti-social’ behavior, but I needn’t have worried. The leader, Claire, was well prepared with reassuring wipe-clean tarpaulings, aprons for all and a designated wash up area.
The session began with a story about a fascinating made-up world starring the curious Oglee Pip and a chance to explore his box of treasures. The story was long enough to inspire the kids and introduce the ‘Outer Space’ theme but not so long that they got fidgety.
Then it was time to roll up our sleeves and unleash creative chaos! My son went straight for the foam clay and got stuck into making an alien out of pipe cleaners and googly eyes. My daughter was transfixed by marble painting ‘shooting stars’ and ‘meteors’ on giant black paper. There was also shiny circles and textured paint to make planets – addictive stuff: so tactile! And a spaceship making area where my son got busy with matchstick ‘nails’ and a hammer. The younger kids loved the water play area with stars, planets and alien toys. And even the littlest fingers enjoyed squeezing drops of ink onto coffee filters to watch the colours make magic patterns.
I loved how Claire helped the children bring everyday materials to life – printing with lids, squirting with bottles and building with polystyrene. It was also fun to discover new things. The foam clay is a new favourite I might even bring out at home!
The session finished with a calming story and a biscuit before we left with our many creations. The kids also came away with a sense of pride in their new skills. The parents, with a new respect for the dark arts of messy play. Craft is no longer a contraband to be feared. It’s just good unclean fun.
We weren’t the only family think so. Ursh, Mum of Jack (4) and Charlie (4 months) said
‘We absolutely love these workshops! The themes are great and well thought out and we get so much done in an hour, my little one is always asking me when the next one is whenever we leave. Good quality crafts used and overall a very enjoyable hour for both of us. Even my 4-month-old wanted to watch and see what was going on. Would recommend to anyone with young ones. ‘
Fancy joinning in the fun with your little one? Claire has generously offered one lucky reader a personalised Oglee Poglee Space Adventure Craft Box, RRP £17.99, jam-packed with everything you need to explore deep space, dodge flying comets and collect moondust. Each box also includes an Oglee Pip adventure story, a magic button and even PVA glue, so there’s no need to buy any extra bits!
Don’t worry there’s no pressure to create a great masterpiece. Oglee Poglee Craft Boxes encourage ‘open-ended’ creative play. Each child decides what to make, thereby avoiding the stress of creating a picture-perfect craft. They can customise Oglee Pip’s story books, design their own creations and even take the magic button off on marvellous adventures all of their own.
To enter the give away visit my Facebook page here – if you enjoy it, please ‘like’ and share. Many thanks! Good luck!
Bring on the unclean fun!