Our Story

Kath Manning, Founder and Director of Mess It Up.

I am the mother of three young girls. When my youngest came along, she opened my eyes to the challenge of raising a curious extrovert. I remember that first year at home with 3 small children being crazy busy, crazy fun and totally exhausting.  I was so busy trying to deal with the needs of all three of them, that the youngest was probably allowed a bit more freedom than the older two as there was less time to supervise every minute of her activities.  I often stumbled onto scenes such as this, where she had climbed into the pantry, found something that interested her (in this case – soya sauce) and started experimenting with it (squirting it all over the floor).  She would be the child that drew beautiful scribbles with vivid on our new white bedroom drawers, she’s the one that found some sunscreen and smeared it on the mirror to see what she would look like through it. My initial reactions were to pull my hair out, sometimes the reaction was to laugh but mainly to pull my hair out.  Then I started to realise that actually she just needed somewhere to channel all that curiosity and creative energy, and so Mess It Up was born.  It’s not about making a mess, its about channeling creativity at the right time and place.  When I started researching the benefits of all this exploration she was doing, I realised Messy Play or Sensory Play has huge developmental benefits and it had to be done, just maybe not at home!!!!

Prior to entering into parenthood I was a Physiotherapist, where I learnt how the body works, and neuroscience of brain development. I have a passion for abstract art and I enjoy coaching young children to be the best they can be. I currently coach two junior netball teams, and junior surf little nippers.  I recently became a Surf Lifeguard with my husband, and together we try our best to raise our three girls.