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HOT: The Messy Shed, Balwyn

HOT: The Messy Shed, Balwyn

The Messy Shed Balwyn is very fun and sensory play experience for kids aged 18 months – 6 years of age. It’s the second location of the very popular Messy Shed in Mornington.

Each week has a different theme, and organiser Claire Poutney fills the room with areas for children to play, paint, craft, and make a real mess.

The Messy Shed, Balwyn, Melbourne.

Sessions last 45 mins, and aprons are provided. Pre-walkers are free and this does mean that there are quite a few extra babies and prams in the room.

The Messy Shed, Balwyn, Melbourne.

Layla (almost 4 years old) and I visit during a baby-themed week. Layla loves the range of activities she can do with the dolls: she can paint them, she can wash their hair, or give them a bath, and feed them bright green spaghetti.

The Messy Shed, Balwyn, Melbourne.

Next, she makes a beeline for the craft corner. Everything is set up at child height, and Layla picks lots of buttons out of a container and then calmly glues them to a table.

The Messy Shed, Balwyn, Melbourne.

This is self-directed play, without any rules or instructions, and no one showing the kids what to do. Instead they’re free to explore everything for themselves.

The sessions are open to a wide age range, and different ages enjoy the activities in their own way. I spot toddlers very interested in games that use water or grains of rice, which Layla isn’t interested in.

The Messy Shed, Balwyn, Melbourne

Layla’s favourite activity is creating art on a large perspex wall. It takes me a while to realise she was actually painting with a toilet plunger! Definitely not something she gets to do at home.

Soon, our 45 minutes are up and it’s time to leave. Layla says, “Can we come again?”

Click here for the best places to go and things to do with toddlers and babies in Melbourne

HOT Tips:

  • Each session runs for 45 minutes;
  • Session times are 9.15am, 10.30 and 11.45am, Monday – Friday;
  • Sessions are $10 per child;
  • You can book via Messy Shed – Balwyn’s Facebook page;
  • Ages 18 months – 6 years old, pre-walkers are free;
  • We visited on the busiest session, Fridays at 10.30am, and it did feel very full;
  • Aprons are provided but best to pack a change of clothes for everyone;
  • Dress your children in old clothes and shoes that they can get messy;
  • There’s free parking nearby; and
  • Delicious food and coffee at the Good Neighbours Cafe, 335 Balwyn Rd, Balwyn North VIC 3104

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