Happymess is best know for it's weekly preschool art, craft and messy play sessions. We provide a safe, friendly space to play, explore, create and make a mess together – with everything prepared for you in advance, and cleaned up afterwards!
The weekly Friday sessions at Bedminster Methodist Church Hall include at least four activity stations:
+ An art or craft activity where you can make something to take home, with lots of painting, gluing and some cutting for the older children
+ A messy play activity – such as cornflour gloop, foam, jelly, oats, sand, cornflakes, coloured dry rice, spaghetti, cloud dough
+ Homemade playdough with a variety of props/toys to use with it each week
+ An additional mark-making activity which fits in with the session – for example floor painting, printing with stamps, cookie cutters, chalk drawing, colouring-in
Each session has a similar layout so that children get to know the space and feel comfortable there, but because the activities are different every week, there is always something new to explore!
The children are free to play as they like, depending on their interests. Children - and adults - are there to have fun and get messy. Happymess provides all materials and equipment, including long-sleeved aprons and wipes. Please wear clothes you don't mind getting messy (for yourself and your child). All materials are non-toxic and many are technically 'washable' but strong colours may stain clothes.
In addition to weekly preschool sessions, Happymess also runs adult craft sessions, birthday parties, festivals and events - most recently Bristol's Harbour Festival and the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta. Happymess also co-runs Storiestalk, an after school art and drama group.
Happymess is run by Jenny Clarke, who has an MA in Fine Art, and two small children who like getting messy. She developed Happymess after having her first child, and ran two popular sessions per week in Forest Hill, South East London for a year before moving to Bristol and setting up Happymess there.
More about the benefits of messy play
Messy play provides many opportunities for learning, and through play your child will be able to explore textures, materials, colour, patterns and shapes. It develops hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills through activities such as pouring, digging, cutting, tearing, drawing and mark-making. Messy play encourages imaginative play because it is so flexible (for example, a water trough could be a duck pond, the ocean, a jungle swamp). It can also help build communication and social skills as children are playing and sharing resources with both adults and other children.