Spotlight on: Alex from Mucky Monkeys

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What’s your name and where do you come from?

Hi my name is Alex Henderson and I run Mucky Monkeys. I’m originally from a small town on the south coast but I moved to south Liverpool in 2003.

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Tell us a bit about your business.  How did you come up with the idea / what is it and where can people find you?

My business is called Mucky Monkeys and we offer arts, crafts, sensory play and messy fun! We have weekly Messy Play classes, weekly sensory play classes, children’s craft clubs, adults craft workshops, bespoke hand/footprint keepsake art sessions and children’s parties.

I came up with the idea 8 years ago as I wanted to use my love of all things creative and arty and develop a class for parents and children alike.

There were some key ideas which were really important to me when I set Mucky Monkeys up. For example, being inclusive to all carers, offering both term and flexible drop in places and allowing mixed ages to all join the fun together. These key principles have remained at the heart of my sessions ever since.

In Liverpool we have just moved all our Messy Play classes to an amazing new venue. We are now based inside AirUnlimited Trampoline Park! Messy play classes are each weekday 10:30am, except Tuesday which is 1:30pm. We also use AirUnlimited for our weekly children’s craft club too which is ace as AirUnlimited have kindly allowed all our customers free use of the trampolines!

We often run craft sessions in cafes and other venues around south Liverpool. This half term we have some slime sessions in Wigwam Coffee Shop on Rose Lane.

For our sensory play classes we have sessions in Velocity in Wigan and Spaceworld in Prescot. These run on Tuesdays and again the venues have kindly given free play to our Monkeys!

We try to run classes all year round but it’s always best to check just incase we have taken a week off over a 1/2 term to hang with our own children.

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Describe your business in 3 words!

Creative, friendly and fun! If I’m allowed a 4th word it would definitely be messy!!

What’s your go to activity that keeps your little ones happy?

I don’t really have one go to activity as I like to keep things fresh and exciting. Although, having said that, at the moment it’s got to be slime making!

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We all love a bit of pintrest and online inspo. What accounts, bloggers, websites would you recommend the OKS community check out?

I’m not really the right person to answer that! My awesome teacher Heather is my Pinterest expert! I will often tell her an idea I have and she will do the research and make it a reality!

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What’s on the kitchen disco play-list in your house?

Well there’s an eclectic mix in our house that’s for sure! From rock to Disney tunes or current pop! Between my husband and 2 children we all have very different ideas of music! I am a secret Disney lover though and do enjoy the Disney tunes which are pumped out in our Liverpool venue!
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Where are your favorite places for a knees up without the nippers?

I absolutely love Pi on Rose Lane. It’s very chilled with no pressure to dress up. However for a fancy night out The Florist in town is just gorgeous. (I appreciate they are not exactly a knees up though!)

What was the first album / single you bought and what format did you buy it on?

An embarrassing answer coming…PJ and Duncan on CD for my brand new CD player! I thought I was so cool!

What would be your band T-shirt of choice?

Death Cab for Cutie or Bears Den. If you haven’t heard of them defo check them out.

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Top tips for encouraging creativity in children?

Definitely follow the children’s lead. I always suggest parents allow children to observe for a little while and gain their own confidence to join in.  Children learn so much more and have way more fun if they are able to do things their own way. When it comes to art there’s no rule book, by giving children the ability to explore and make things how they see fit they really do have lots more fun! So I try to encourage parents to not worry so much about the end goal, for children the joy is in the process of creating.

Apart from OKS (obviously) what would you recommend for family fun in the North West?
We are so lucky in the North West as we literally have everything!

One of my favourite Halloween activities is the Roy Castle Spooky Welly Walk which we have a stall at each year. (Set a reminder for that next year!)

Find out more about Mucky Monkeys here – https://m.facebook.com/muckymonkeysmessyplay/?locale2=en_GB

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