New Brewer Business To Offer Sensory Play, Encourage Messiness
Kids and adults with sensory issues will soon have a new place to play, where messes are encouraged.
"Every one that has heard about us or has seen our space has been very excited and super interested in what exactly we do and I love telling them," said Erika Martin-Booker, the owner of Messology Maine.
"Within our first week open we are going to splat paint, walk in Oobleck, make glow-in-the dark slime, tie-dye shirts and get completely soaked outside with our four water table toys, she said.
Messology Maine, opening soon, at the far end of the Brewer City Center, at 391 North Main Street, will feature lots of different sensory play options for kids 2 to 13 years old.
Martin-Booker says the space is not just for kids with sensory issues, but all kids! And they'll have special events for all ages! "We will have teen mess nights, adult date mess nights, baby hand and foot print messes and adults with sensory needs are always welcome."
"We clean the mess parents only have to wipe off the kids!"
Martin-Booker says the facility offers a number of different areas, both inside and out, where people can play, hands on or in a bunch of fun options.
"We have a large outside area that we will have our mud kitchen, sand box, bubbles and more! For me the best part of our space is our mess lab! That is our anything goes make the biggest mess you have ever seen room."
"We plan to throw stuff covered in paint at the walls, bang drums coved in paint, spray shaving cream everywhere and so so so much more!!"
"We have a wet sensory area inside (and outside) where we will have water beads, magnet fishing toys, buckets filled with ice cubes that are colored or have toys in them and much more! We also have dry sensory areas that include rice/bean bins, sand bins (moon sand, kinetic sand..etc.), Play-Doh table, Lego area, art area, little tikes area and a game and puzzle table. We are working on our chalk room where the walls and floor will be all chalk board!"
As far as the clean up goes, Martin-Booker says the facility will be taking great care to keep things safe and sanitary.
"We have disinfectant sprays, wipes and hand sanitizer. We also will be rotating out sensory bins and toys to more thoroughly clean them throughout the day."
Martin-Booker says she got her inspiration to open Messology after hearing about a family member's experience with a similar place in Rhode Island. "Parents played with their kids with sensory items and made huge messes all the kids looked so happy and the parents kept bringing their kids back over and over."
"My son has a mild sensory processing disorder and he needs that kind of play. Even his OT kept telling me to make him rice bins and have him play with different tactile toys at home, along with therapy that was helping so much but I knew a place like that one would be even better, because he would be able to be social while getting sensory input."
Martin-Booker says she had a vision to create this space, but never thought she'd see it become a reality.
"Every time I thought about it I just put it aside because I knew it cost lots of money and time to run a business led alone start one from scratch and with 5 kids between my husband and I we really didn't have either. Then one night I was putting my son to bed and the ideas just came into my head like a computer downloading a file. I came out and instantly started talking to my husband and we decided that night that we were going to do this one way or the other."
As things started to fall into place for them, they were able to find both the funds and the facility. Martin-Booker says the goal is to have a grand opening at Messology Maine mid July.
"So here were stepping out and taking a risk to better our community and hopefully help people, not just kids because there are adults with sensory issues and autism that can and will benefit from this type of group play. Also, when a child sees and adult with the same "label" or challenge as they have, it makes them feel better about themselves and it helps them see that its OK to just be you!"
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