Get your hands messy this weekend by encouraging the kids to take part in fun arty activities at Gwent’s messy play centre Messy Marvels as SEEMA BOKSH reports.

Spring is the perfect season to be creative, so why not try taking the kids to spend a few hours at Gwent’s new messy play centres Messy Marvels?

Set up in February by two Cwmbran mums including Clare Matthews,38, sessions see children aged 12 weeks to four years old take part in crafty sessions across Gwent with weekly sessions held in Newport, Cwmbran, Caerleon and Abergavenny.

Mrs Matthews decided to start the children’s craft groups after being inspired by their daughter's playfulness of using glitters and paints while at nursery.

In the hour sessions children engage in various ‘messy’ activities based on different themes and using a variety of materials each week allowing the mini marvels to play with everything from coloured rice, slime, playdough, homemade paint and more.

Activities include card making where children are kept busy using glitters, paint, colouring pencils and are able to make crafts at the Childsplay Cafe, in Newport.

Children will enjoy the different textures, smells and colours on offer each week and the best bit for parents is that the centres take all the mess and you have all the fun.

Mrs Matthews said: " We cater with smaller containers for littler ones so they can explore but still be safe and secure next to their carers.

"Messy play was relatively unknown in the area.

"Yes, there were art and craft sessions but no actual messy play.

"We do what we say, provide messy play activities to stimulate and allow exploration through textures, colours and different sensations.

"We provide at least four dry or wet messy play activities and even have a messy play pit for those who truly want their children to get immersed in the mess."

All toys and crafts are provided at the centres and parents have the option to engage with their children's play or they can sit back and watch the kids play with confidence.

The centres provide families with a great day out as parents can get involved and watch their children interact with one another and socialise themselves.

Mrs Matthews believes that it is important for children to do arts and crafts as it helps them to develop their motor skills, improves their concentration towards the outside world and develops their imagination.

Messy Marvles have play centres across Gwent; Childsplay Cafe at 105-106 Commercial Street, Newport that where sessions are held every Tuesday at 10.30am and last for 45 minutes costing £4.50 per child/£1 sibling discount; Caerleon Town Hall at Church Street, Newport where sessions are held every Friday at 2.00 to 2.45pm and cost £4 per child/£1 sibling discount; Kingdom Come at Unit 3, Castle Meadows Park, Merthyr Road, Abergavenny that are held every Friday at 11.00 to 11.45am and cost £5 per child/£1 sibling discount.

For more information contact Clare Matthews by email at or call 07411993114

You can also follow them at or on Twitter @messymarvels