Messy Monsters run art classes for babies and toddlers allowing them to get covered in glue, paint and mess without destroying mum and dad's home.
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Claire Bishop: Well, now here are some words that strike fear into your heart. Mommy can we do some painting? You can just imagine the destruction that your adorable but very active toddlers are about to make, but help is at hand. The rapidly growing Messy Monsters Art group may just be the solution for all those moms and dads who want to encourage their little ones' artistic side but don't want to end-up clearing the ensuing carnage. Now Leah Robins, owner of the Messy Monsters, is here with her daughter Alice and mom Emma with Jake who has been able to make full use, who have been able to mess someone else's house-up. Leah is that fair? Is that what you do? Is you let your house be completely trashed? Leah Robins: Well we hire premises in church halls around the country and allow parents and their children to come in and make as much creative mess as they feel they need to and then they go home and some of the parents feel guilty and some parents don't feel guilty about the mess that they leaving us to tidy up. Clarie Bishop: It's a fantastic idea what made you come up with it? Leah Robins: Basically, I decided to stay at home after Alice was born. My work was full time prior to Alice and it didn't fit with Alice once she was born and we go to music group, and we go to swimming class, and we go and play with toys and things, and she got to that age where she started showing an interest in pens and papers and all the other terrible things. Basically I just thought well I went to an internet looking for our nearest art group for toddlers, I couldn't find one, and thought why trouble, do it myself. Clarie Bishop: So what sort of thing do the Messy Monsters do? Leah Robins: We do different things for different age groups. So we do from 18 months to 5 and then from 6 months to 18 months. So the six months to 18 months is very much concentrating on tactile play, exploring and that's really more messy. We do sort of one structured activity where they make something to take home, it goes private place, mom or grandma house, but really that the younger class is just focusing on mess and how it feels and exploring all the different materials that we use. Then in the older class of the 18 months to 5 years, we do full structured activities and we do a lot of free plays lot of it is played all which is their favorite with the parents, when it's not on their carpets and we do finger painting things that's also can to just go home and play with. Then the activities that we do, we've done everything from T-shirt painting, puppet making. We have occasionally used boxes and things to create this, but mostly we use sort of new materials although we try to do some recycling with some of the products. Claire Bishop: I see Jake is just dying to get down there and make a mess. Emma, how useful is this service? Emma Pursey: Oh, it's fantastic because I don't like getting all the painting at our home because I don't tend to spend the time with him if we do, I might just go often do the ironing or do the cleaning and I work as well. So it's quite nice to be able to take him out and actually have some quality time with him painting and -- Claire Bishop: So you get down and messing with him. Emma Pursey: Yeah, we do. I was saying a little earlier. It would be nice we had a friend as well. So I am sure the moms get more messy than the children. Claire Bishop: I was going to ask whether Jake comes back covered from head to toe. Emma Pursey: He doesn't because he wear a nice apron so he comes away and he is -- I mean obviously he has dirty hands and face but other than that it's – you know we don't have any clearing up at all, although I give him a nice bath when we get at home. Clarie Bishop: But how do you stop him from being, so he can be as messy as he likes when he goes to Messy Monsters. How does he know Jake that he can't do that when he goes home? Emma Pursey: Because we tell him now it's a messy Monster time when we go there and you can be