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Parents as Teachers hosts messy night at Indian Foothills Park

Friday, August 23, 2013

Marshall High School science teacher Danielle Dace shows children how to play with "elephant toothpaste" during Messy Night Thursday, Aug. 22, at Indian Foothills Park.
(Carlos Restrepo/Democrat News)
A few minutes before Messy Night started, children waited at the playground of Indian Foothills Park with their parents.

"It's time to go," a parent said to his child.

"Messy time," the kid yelled loudly.

Alex Stafford, 4, walks around the park covered in chocolate-pudding during Messy Night Thursday, Aug. 22, at Indian Foothills Park. The event, sponsored by Marshall Public Schools' Parents as Teachers group, sought to teach children about their different senses.
(Carlos Restrepo/Democrat-News)
More than 100 families and their children, ages 0 to 5, swam in pools of goo, flour, corn flakes, chocolate pudding and other messy ingredients Thursday, Aug. 23, during Messy Night, an event sponsored by Marshall High School's Parents as Teachers group.

"Messy night is a fun activity with both the kids and the parents where they get to have a lot of fun and experiences with different sensory activities that we have set up for them," said Heather Johnson, Parents as Teachers coordinator.

Danielle Dace, science teacher at Marshall High School, also brought a group of high school students who worked on creating messy concoctions using basic science knowledge.

"Today we are making elephant toothpaste," said Dace as she and three students made the thick, gooey mixture. "I heard about messy night and I wanted my science club to be more involved in the community. There is some really fun, really cool science experiments that are gross and messy and it just gets kids excited in science from kindergarten all the way to my seniors, so I just think it's awesome."

Children laughed and ran around the park, their shirts -- and bodies -- covered beyond recognition with the different messy mixtures.

Johnson said parents seemed to always have fun at the event too, especially since it didn't involve cleaning afterward -- except perhaps for a few loads of laundry.

"Everybody loves to make a mess and get messy," Johnson said. "And it's great for parents because they don't have to do this at home and then clean it up."

Contact Carlos Restrepo at crestrepo@marshallnews.com

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