Why You Should Embrace Messy Play With Your Kids

Before your baby arrives, every parent has a vision of how they want to parent their child. And most of the time we think we are going to be more free spirited, easy going and flexible than our parents were. But that’s all before you realized how hard it was to get paint stains off of clothes and how long scrubbing mud out of your little one’s nails would take. The truth is, as much as we’d all like to give into our inner child and just make a mess with our kid, the clean up after makes the experience more of a chore than a reward. But what if we told you that it was in your child’s best interest if you played messily with them? In this article we’ll tell you why you should embrace messy play alongside your kids and how you can do so in some easy to clean up ways. Read on to know more!

Why You Should Let Your Kids Make A Mess

Why You Should Let Your Kids Make A Mess

Image: iStock

Well, we all know the reasons you don’t want them to make a mess. They could do something dangerous, like put crayons in their mouth if unsupervised and the clean up is a pain. But there’s a reason why kids gravitate towards this kind of play and why they should be allowed to make a mess. Messy play does wonders for their imagination and creative thinking. After all, what is a mess but a masterpiece that you can’t see? Let your child experiment with colors, textures and sounds. This is how they learn to experience the world and interpret it in different ways (1). Not to mention that it’s great in terms of helping them develop their motor skills. Children need to learn how to use their hands and arms efficiently in order to create the mess they want to make. So although all you see is a squashed up ball of clay or soil, that’s some handy motor skill development right there (2). Messy play also gives your kids an outlet to express themselves creatively and having you validate this will only help build their confidence and self esteem. So the next time your child proposes that you get messy together, sit down and pick up a brush. Now we know what you’re thinking, how on earth are you going to clean up the mess? Well, if you’re looking for some easy to dispose of play activities, we’ve got you covered.

Messy Play Activities

1. Dough DIrt

Dough DIrt

Image: iStock

Many kids love to use their construction vehicle toys to scoop, dump, and move dirt around. They also love using various molds to make animals, bricks and people. But playing with soil can be unsanitary. So why don’t you make them so dough instead? All you need is 8 cups of flour and 1 cup of baby oil. Mix it together and let your kids have at it. After they are done, all you have to do is collect the clumps of dough together and dispose of it. This dough is less likely to stick to your counter or the kid’s toys, making the whole clean up after so much easier.

2. Colored Shaving Cream

This one is for the parents with a true artist on their hands. If you can’t seem to get a paint brush or a crayon away from your child, all you have to do is replace it with “paint” that’s easier to clean up. All you do is take some shaving cream, preferably the kind that’s meant for sensitive skin and drop some food coloring and mix it about. You can make several containers filled with various colors. And once they are ready to go, send your child into the washroom. They can paint on the tub and tiles to their heart’s content before going for their bedtime bath. And all you have to do to get rid of their artwork is to splash some water on top and watch the shaving cream give way to a spotless washroom.

3. Edible Homemade Finger Paint

Edible Homemade Finger Paint

Image: iStock

Say that your child just loves to finger paint but can’t seem to stop putting their hand in their mouth, there’s a solution to this problem. All you need to do is pour two tablespoons of sugar into a saucepan, add one-third cup of flour and two cups of water. Whisk until smooth and stir until mixture thickens. Then all that’s left to do is to pour the mixture into small cups and mix food coloring into them. Allow them to cool completely and then let your child finger paint all they like.

Making a mess and enjoying these fun creative moments with your kids isn’t always as easy as you thought they would be. But don’t miss out on this little piece of magic just because you’re scared of cleaning up. With a few tips and tricks, you and your baby can look forward to messy play any time!


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