Messy Play Is Oh So Messy

Mini is three going on thirteen. Today I told her I was going to give her mashed worms on toast for lunch. She looked up at me with an exasperated look on her face and said completely seriously,

“Don’t be so silly Penny. Real people don’t eat worms.”

She went back to looking at her book and sighed as if to show her contempt.

Well, that told me.

I have more experience looking after boys and I know for a fact Toby and Jack (my old charges) would have found it both disgusting and hilarious at the same time.

Mini had a really busy day today with a full day at nursery followed by mini-gym for 45 minutes afterwards. She loves the fact it is called mini-gym. She seems to think it might actually be named after her.

Any nanny, parent, grandparent, or indeed anyone who looks after children knows that the telly or a tablet is a really good babysitter. But just because Mini has had a busy day and is tired I don’t want to get into the habit of letting her have screen time as soon as we get home.

So to keep her busy I got out some arts and crafts for her. First of all, she did a little colouring with pencils and felt tips.

She then asked for some runny glue and glitter “because my star needs to shine” she told me.

After the copious amounts of glitter, she wanted to stick on some feathers and sparkles which required more runny glue. Then, of course, more glitter was needed. And more glue. After that, she got onto cutting up bits of tissue paper and pieces from a magazine. Which required yet more glue.

After making a huge mess she swept it all to one side with her arm. The glue and the bits dragged all over the table and onto the floor and it was stuck all up her arm- such chaos!

Mini declared she had finished and now she was ready for the playdough.

So I got the playdough out. And the playdough tools. I limited her to just four colours.

At this time I was cooking the children’s tea. Freddie was sat happily in his high chair chewing on some playdough tools. When I turned to look at Mini I saw that she had got more colours out and had mixed the playdough into the glitter, feathers and sparkles.

She looked so pleased with her creation I couldn’t bring myself to reprimand her about the mess.

Freddie was starting to get hungry. I had three pans on the hob all needing tending to. Mini needed to be cleaned up. And then there was the chaos on the kitchen table and floor.

I turned off the stove. Gave Freddie a breadstick to keep him happy for a few minutes. Then I helped Mini to take off her top and wash her hands at the kitchen sink.

I looked at the wreckage that was the kitchen table, it was going to take me ten or fifteen minutes to clear it all up and she hadn’t even spent that long making the mess.

After drying her hands Mini went back over to the table and was just about to touch her playdoughy, glittery, gluey creation.

I caught her by the hand before she touched it.

“Oh no you don’t,” I said, leading her away from the table and over to the sofa in the playarea. “Why don’t you watch Peppa Pig while I clean this up and finish making your tea?”

Looking over at the destruction, it made me think I should have just let her watch the telly in the first place!


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