I really want to let lo go mad with the food and play/chuck/smear etc! but it's just not in my nature to be so messy (and god knows when i'd have time to clear up!) We do a mixture of me spoon feeding and him having a go as he gets frustrated that the food isn't coming quickly enough and he's getting really good with finger foods. But I find myself sitting on my hands trying not to grab the spoon/food before he chucks it somewhere! Sometimes I have to because the highchair can't fit in the kitchen (where it is MUCH easier to clean up!) so it's in the smallish dining room and despite a splashmat he can still get it up the walls/curtains/carpets as he's very lively in the highchair! Id quite like to take him to messy play so he can really go for it but theres none around here! I also wondered about getting a small/travel high chair and using it outside every now and again so he can really experiment but would that make him more likely to get really messy in the dining room? I know I should let go a bit, but its really difficult to sometimes when it's not in your nature!!