Hundreds of children make mess at Show Me Center

Sunday, April 22, 2012
Children and their parents crowd the Show Me Center during the 5th annual Messy Morning Saturday, April 21. The event, part of The Week of the Young Child had a variety of activities for children, many of them involving making a mess. (Adam Vogler)

With shrieks and giggles as background noise, hundreds of local children and adults invaded the Show Me Center on Saturday morning to discover just how much fun playing messy could be.

The fifth annual Messy Morning event was a collaborative effort. With the motto of Sing, Read, Play, the event was the conclusion of the Week of the Young Child, a nationally recognized week that acknowledges local businesses that offer resources for children.

Bubbles, courtesy of a bubble machine, greeted attendees as they entered the building. The event was free, but a donation of cash or canned goods was requested for the Southeast Missouri Food Bank.

The messiest and one of the most popular displays included a couple of small slides, a cylinder and a mat, all covered with plastic and topped with loads of shaving cream. Several volunteers stood ready with additional cans of shaving cream to ensure every participant was suitably messy when they finished playing.

Rebecca Burger brought her 2-year-old son, Preston, from Scott City to the event.

"He's had a really good time," Rebecca said. "They had a good turnout. He's tried or at least touched just about everything here."

Preston sported a green turtle painted on his cheek.

"I like the painting and the bouncy. Want to bounce again," Preston said.

Sharon Anderson, the Youth Services Coordinator for the Cape Girardeau Public Library, was promoting the numerous children's summer activities the library has planned. She's purchased 15,000 Legos for her "Dream Big -- Build Big" summer program.

Saint Francis Medical Center's Fitness Plus had a children's obstacle course in which the child jumped over obstacles, zigzagged through cones, did 10 push-ups, crawled through a tube, did 10 jumping jacks, sprinted and did 10 sit ups before running to the finish. The winning time was well under one minute.

There were booths set up for painting, making puppets, sand play, water play and a tub of cornstarch and water that just felt weird, according to comments made by the kids.

Hooked on Science's Jason Lindsey attempted a large chemistry experiment. By taking vegetable oil, water, food coloring and Alka-Seltzer, several eager young volunteers from the audience helped make a large lava lamp.

A section with musical instruments for the children to try was set up in the corner. Drums seemed to be the crowd favorite.

The Community Counseling Center table had items to make a seek-and-find game.

There was a spacewalk and an inflatable obstacle course that included a climbing wall and a giant slide, which participants loved.

The mud crawl was the finale of the event, with shaving cream heaped onto a section of the floor. Children were divided into age categories and then instructed to crawl from one end to the other.

Kirsten Roe of Cape Girardeau brought her daughter Mia, 3.

"It was fun. She didn't want to get messy, though," Roe said. "She thought she'd be able to walk through it."

Pertinent address:

1333 N. Sprigg St., Cape Girardeau, MO 63701

Map of pertinent addresses

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