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Review: Our first experience with ARTventurers Newcastle

One of my all-time favourite children’s books is The Tiger Who Came To Tea. It’s a book I know off by heart and every word of it evokes memories. So, it was great to see ARTventurers Newcastle using the book as a theme for their recent playdate.

Tiger Who Came To Tea

For those of you who have been deprived of this wonderful tale by author Judith Kerr in 1968, it’s the story of a tiger who invites himself to tea and eats and drinks all the food in a little girl’s house. He then leaves, never to return.

A Real Classic

The great thing about the book is that it has spanned the generations. It has sparked the imaginations of children for decades, making it a real classic. As a new mum over 40, stories like this are worth their weight in gold. It means I have something in common with younger mummies half my age.

Now this brings me on to the topic of my post. Our first Baby ARTventurers class at Great Park Community Centre, Newcastle. I was delighted to find out that the story would form the theme of eight-month-old C’s first session.

Messy Play

Having never been to an ARTventurers class before, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Although I knew messy play would be at the heart of it, so I made sure to wear an old shirt and jeans myself and ensure C wasn’t wearing any Ralph Lauren.

Pit Filled With Porridge Oats

As soon as we walked through the door, we were given a warm welcome by our host, Elaine and an overview of the things Cyrus could get involved in. There was a whole range of activities all based on the theme of The Tiger Who Came To Tea. There was a pit filled with porridge oats, kitchen utensils, toy tigers, a pool with plastic balls and watering cans. And another area filled with spaghetti, a tiger sensory area and an area for paint exploration.

Paint Exploration

Messy play provides so many benefits for babies like Little C. During the session, he got to hone his sense of touch, explore different textures and get covered in paint, porridge oats and spaghetti in the process!I stripped him down to just his vest and nappy for the session and then just let him explore his surroundings.

Little C explored with his mouth as well as his hands, so I had to keep a close eye on him. I also had a couple of baby wipes to hand to wipe off the excess paint and make this messy moment more manageable. It proved a great sensory experience and I didn’t have to worry about the ‘messy’ part either.

TIP: It’s a good idea to bring a towel, a couple of spare plastic bags, as well as a change of clothes.

Change Of Clothes Essential

After a quick clean, getting rid of one wet, soggy nappy and a change of clothes, Little C was ready for a sing-along session with sparkly pom-poms. We will certainly be back to ARTventurers soon.

ARTventurers Newcastle is run by mum-of-two, Emily Miller. She took her daughter along to an ARTventurers class and loved it so much that she joined the team. For more information, contact her on emily@artventurers.co.uk or visit @ARTventurersNewcastle on Facebook.

For more of our family days out, visit this blog post about our trip to Canny Crafty in Gosforth.


Saffron and Cyrus is a Newcastle-based family lifestyle blog, covering health, wellness, days out, travel, reviews, recipes and more from our family life.
The blog is written by new mum over 40, Aranda, with input from hubby H and son, Little C.

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