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Happymess – messy play in Windmill Hill – review

Some kids absolutely love getting messy, don’t they? And because lots of us don’t have the regular resources or space at home to make this happen on a regular basis for them, it’s great that there are messy play classes all over Bristol. Last week, Tibbs and I checked out the latest one to hit the streets, Happymess.

Happymess, run by the friendly and creative Jenny, is a course of art, craft and messy play sessions for children aged 1-4 years. Classes started this October- Fridays 10-11am, at Windmill Hill Community Centre, in South Bristol.


Jenny has recently moved from South East London to Bristol, bringing Happymess with her. I managed to have a brief chat with her during the class and found out that each week at Happymess will have a story-style theme to guide kids around the messy activities. For example, the week we attended was themed around Goldilocks and the three bears. We painted paper plates and decorated them to make our own bear faces, and played not only with a giant tray of dry oats, but got totally down and dirty with a big bowl of gloopy porridge.

Jenny provides bibs for the kids, but I totally recommend a tatty outfit and probably no shoes for both you and your child. I got totally covered in oats (and loved it!)

We liked Happymess a lot. It lasts and hour and Tibbs, who is relatively sociable and has done arts and crafts before at nursery, joined in with all four activities. However, her 18-month old attention was waning by the last ten minutes and she enjoyed exploring the big old venue with some like-minded kids for the rest of it. The 2-3 year olds were deeply engaged throughout! As a parent, I adored getting creative with her, instead of simply admiring the creations that come home from nursery. It’s made me even more committed to trying things ourselves at home too. I also liked the time of the day it’s at, 10-11am is perfect for most kids up to 4yrs.

You can contact Jenny at Happymess for more information about the classes on


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  1. Sounds fabulous. They say kids learn the most when they’re getting messy, right? Certainly the sign of a good time!So much going on in Windmill Hill and Bedminster. We almost moved there when we were buying. Kind of wish we had!

  2. Oh my what a lot of fun (and mess!) something I’ll have to get used to one day! x

  3. this looks fun! a perfect excuse to make a good bit of mess too šŸ™‚

  4. wah! really need to move to Bristol! THis looks great fun!

  5. I’m so mean, I’ve only ever taken Cherry to messy-play once! Although to be fair she did hate it! x

  6. You can’t beat messy play especially when it’s somewhere other than your own house – ha! šŸ™‚

  7. Oh wow how much fun does this look – some seriously Happymess going on – such a great idea!

    Laura x

  8. F would love this! Anything to do with being messy is right up his street and he doesn’t get a huge opportunity to do it at home. x

  9. Lia Lia

    What a fantastic idea – kids need mess & all the better if it’s out of your home šŸ˜‰

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