Making a mess good for everyone
Offering families the chance to connect with others in the community is the aim of weekly messy play sessions at Goodstart Anna Bay.
Open to all families in the Tomaree Peninsula, the events are free and have the added benefit of professional advice from the educators at Anna Bay.
Run out of the Gan Gan Family Centre, the hour and a half session includes messy play, morning tea, music and stories.
Centre director, Jess Heaslet, said the playgroup served several different purposes.
“Our main focus is to provide a free early learning experience for families who may not be able to access early learning centres for whatever reason, as well as an opportunity for families to connect with other families in the area. Some of our existing families also attend to add an extra learning experience to their child’s week," Ms Heaslet said.
“We also find that families regularly reach out to the educators for advice, particularly around children’s behaviour and social development, which I feel is why the playgroup is so popular.
"It gives families access to non-medical professionals with a more holistic knowledge of children in the early years,” she said.
The play group emulates the types of activities that the centre uses to help children develop their fine motor skills and eye hand coordination, communication and language skills, personal, emotional and social abilities and intellectual growth.
“The area that we live in is very much an outdoor living style of area and our philosophy is to reflect the context of our community. The centre is located in the middle of quite thick bush and we have a very large and beautiful natural playground where we set up a lot of messy play type of experiences like water play, mud play, jelly, slime, goo, foam and scented playdough,” Ms Heaslet said.