My girls are now four and two so this year they are really both getting into Christmas and the events leading up to the big day.
The problem is that there are normally so many things going on, it is struggle to choose what to do or to find something that would suit them both. That is why I was really excited when the lovely ladies at The Party Lab UK invited us to their Christmas Party.
This sell out event was a two hour session aimed at younger children age 0-5 years and was marketed as being all about festive crafts and messy play. It sounded perfect for my two who love both these things.
The party was at Bournheath Village Hall near Bromsgrove which had plenty of parking and despite a few winding roads was easy to find. We arrived a little early but didn’t have long to wait before we were welcomed into the hall which was all set up for the day’s fun.
I was not sure how “messy” the messy play would be, I have attended some messy play events in the past where a full shower was needed straight after (and that was just me!) so we came prepared with spare clothes. I was however, relieved that the play was not overly messy and we didn’t need to use the spare clothes (although it is worth bringing some as there was a water based area). For me, I think some more information on the website or event page would have been handy as it would have been easy to be under-prepared).
There were four messy play stations all with a festive theme from Christmas tree shaped sweet play, a train in icing sugar, play dough and rice play. As expected the pretty shapes didn’t last long but all the children enjoyed getting stuck in (and in the case of both my girls, sampling the sweeter items). My 2 year old particularly enjoyed this area and kept going back to the train set in particular. Some of the items disappeared fairly quickly (probably into my children’s tummies to be honest) and I would have liked to have seen some of the items replaced (although the girls may have got too sugar high so may have been a good thing). That said, it did not stop the children all having great fun, especially the younger ones. There was also a water area which I must admit I didn’t really go near as I didn’t fancy getting the girls changed 🙂 There did seem to be lots of fun being had by those children who had parents braver than me though.
For babies there was a baby area with baby toys, this is a nice touch as a lot of the time it can be a struggle to find things to suit multiple ages if you have more than one child.
My four year old made a bee-line for the craft tables as since starting school she has loved everything crafty. There were several different crafts on offer which included painting, gluing and putting things together and well suited for the ages who attended. My eldest discovered glitter glue whilst we were here (never was brave enough myself) and loved putting it on the reindeer figure she made. Both girls got involved with painting Christmas decorations and baubles with paint and when the decorations ran out there was plenty of paper for those who wanted to carry on painting. There was plenty of space for all the crafting children plus parents who were helping. There is a handy drying area for all your creations to dry off before the end of the session (and we were also offered a bag on our way out if your items are still a little sticky).
It is worth making sure you bring older clothes or an apron as the paint soon ended up all over the tables (which given the age of the children there I was surprised that it didn’t end up anywhere else 🙂 – or maybe that is just my two).
One part of the session which was very welcomed by most parents there was the offer of a complementary hot drink during the session, I don’t drink tea or coffee so I was really glad hot chocolate was also included plus a biccie too (although that was soon sampled by the kids).
About half way through the session we were told that the big man, Father Christmas himself had called to pay us a visit and we were invited into his grotto to say hello. This was a lovely set up in private with lots of lights and sparkles. My girls are quite shy when it comes to meeting Father Christmas but the big one felt brave enough to have a little chat and have a photo. The girls were both given a present which was a lovely Christmas book which we have enjoyed several times since opening it.
The session is two hours long and we felt we had given everything a good try before we left. There was a sink in the toilets which we used to clean up but as I mentioned due to the items used we did not get overly messy so it was mainly sticky and paint covered hands to clear up.
This event is aimed at babies to pre-schoolers and I felt out of my two girls, my two year old got the most out of it. I have been to messy play sessions before and sometimes they are a bit too full on and busy for younger children which I why I liked this event. It was not over sold and it never felt like there were too many people there.
The Party Lab started up relatively recently and I would definitely recommend giving them a go if you have younger children as we had a lovely morning with them. They also run parties for birthdays and other events and are reasonably priced compared to other providers so it you have something coming up take a look at their website.
Thank you The Party Lab for inviting us and we look forward to seeing you soon.
For more visit The Party Lab’s website at https://www.thepartylab.co.uk/