Let’s Get Messy

The Importance of Messy Play and SEMH during the Coronavirus pandemic


With Helen Dillon and Julie Cowpe-Stephens
27 November 2020 9am – 12pm

Why should I attend?

Messy play helps children stay physically and mentally well, which is especially important during the Coronavirus crisis. The virus has impacted so many of our learners who have SEND, complex needs and severe mental health problems. We need to incorporate messy play into their daily routines to give them the tools to express their feelings and worries.

Agenda – 27 November

9.00 am Admissions and virtual tea/coffee to start the session

9.10 am Welcome & introduction to agenda and outline of Zoom routines and protocol. 

To cover:

  • Use of microphone; when to mute/unmute

  • Use of Video, especially in breakout rooms
  • What happens when we breakout

  • Using chat

  • How to ask a question

  • Use of hands up/clapping symbols

 9.15 am Session 1: The importance of using messy play during a crisis

This session will identify the key benefits of messy play and explore ways to support learners who have complex needs who may not be able to verbalise their fears, worries and anxieties. You will learn why getting messy and having fun is so important to release happy hormones for our learners and discover how to create an enabling and calming environment for messy play. This session will also look at the stages of play and explore how to bridge the transition between the stages using messy play.


10.50 am Session 2: Ready, Steady, Cook and be prepared to get messy!

You are invited to take part in a live cookery demonstration with a difference.

In this session, we will share recipes for messy play and give you lots of practical ideas and resources to support SEMH for learners who have complex needs, and learners who have a physical and or a sensory barrier preventing them from accessing messy play.

If you want to join in on the live cookery session, please let us know so that we can email you a shopping list.

Please note: You will need to follow your COSH guidelines and risk assessments for messy play during the current Coronavirus pandemic.

11.45 am Questions and Answers

Please add questions to Zoom chat, so any unanswered live can be followed up after the session.

11.55 am Plenary & Reflective Practice

Delegates to list 3 things they will follow up/action/share as a result of this course – can be put in Zoom chat or any resource of your choice.

12 noon Thank you and close of session!

Who should attend?

This will be appropriate for classroom practitioners working with EYFS, nursery and primary aged children in special school and SEND settings and with those working with learners with social, emotional mental well-being issues in any setting. Ideal to complement the Recovery Curriculum.



Any resources shared/signposted during the session (i.e. during Zoom chat) will be emailed to delegates as a pdf after the session.



If you wish to make a group booking for this course – we can do this quickly and easily for you!  Please email a spreadsheet with the first name/surname/email addresses of the delegates you wish to book for.  This should go to lois@hirstwood.com.  We will then create access to this course for your colleagues.  A Purchase Order Number will secure your booking and we can send you an invoice.

Important information before you book


The ‘Book now!’ button will take you to a new page where you can book and pay for this course.  Please note: if you are booking for someone else, please create the account using their name and email address.  You will still be able to pay by credit card (even it has a different name/school name on it.)

Cost: £37.50 plus VAT per place

(£45 including VAT)