Why do I let my kids make a big mess? Sensory trays dumped all over the place? Toys strewn every which way? This picture gives a fairly accurate portray of what goes on around here on a daily basis, indoors.
One word: SANITY
Okay, now you are thinking, but isn't sanity more at risk when the home is messy?
Well, maybe. If the home stays messy.
You already know the benefits of free, sensory play so I won't recap all that. You already know strategies like placing towels under water or mats under paint, so I won't bore you with that.
But I will ask: Isn't 20 minutes (give or take) of a child occupied with an activity that doesn't involve whining, sibling conflict, and otherwise extremely annoying behaviors worth a trip around the living room with a vacuum?
Well? Isn't it?
A big "yes!" to that question! We love messy stuff around here. 🙂
Raising a Happy Child says
I am sure I would miss a spot and then it would be discovered by my husband and bye-bye, sanity.
emily @ http://scrambledpreservedfriedcured.wordpress.com/ says
I so agree. I have 4 and am big on big messes (for a certain amount of time). Shaving cream/water play/paint Mommy with water colors/really letting kids cook. All good. Hope you'll visit my blog...
Jamie @ hands on : as we grow says
The mess is definitely worth it.
Jamie @ hands on : as we grow
The Activity Mom says
sure is! Even better when they take a turn with the vacuum. =)
Kate @ An Amazing Child says
A huge YES! and how boring would our days be without the mess. Besides, how hard is it to stick your little one under a hose or pull out the broom.
The best parts of our day is when little man gets messy.
You crack me up. 🙂
Come on...tell us about putting down a towel to keep the area tidy.
Bona Fide Mama says
Yes, it is worth it! I just cannot seem to muster up the creativity for anything messy these days!
Toni Thorn says
Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU! From me and both my kids, 2 & 4. I have a huge piece of lino I've used in the past for free body painting (one looked like a pink surf and the other like a greeny blue one!) but I never thought of using the kitchen! We had an old jar of dry polenta (grits?) that had been forgotten and now was stale but was like sand and perfect for our first free for all! The one who needs most practice is me, I bit my tongue a few times but was too often critical of the mess. I will be better next time and with practical can improve. I want to try again next week with water! Wish me luck!
Erica MomandKiddo says
Once you see how engaged your kids are and how long they play by themselves, you will be totally hooked on letting them make a big mess! Good luck!
I'm trying to be better about this. I grew up in a house where my mom felt that it needed to be ready for company at the drop of a hat. Somehow that resulted in me, I'm a horrid homemaker (struggle to get basic cleaning done regularly), but I'm afraid of an thing that will cause extra mess. And I was an only child, but now I have two little ones that I'm trying to keep track of. So much of my mommy training from my mom was about avoiding and preventing messes that I'm afraid to let the kids make a mess. And when I'm already horridly behind on housework, I don't know what to do with it.
I totally understand that. My mom was the same way, our house was always tidy and ready for company, but we never got company. I don't really understand the point. I have a hard time with the mess also, but I have worked on it over the years of raising 4 kids and a house full of animals. When it comes down to it, having a happy, creative, messy home is much better than having a spotless home with stressed out occupants. Every time I start to feel myself getting cranky over the mess, I stop and take a deep breath and remind myself that it will all get taken care of in time.
Erica MomandKiddo says
Yes, there is always time to clean.... later!
To be honest, though, it’s not just a trip around the room with a vacuum. It’s cleaning up the items involved in the activity, washing the
Out, putting everything away, removing soiled clothes, likely a bath (or at least a good wipe down), clean clothes, and THEN vacuuming and mopping.
Just from another mom’s perspective, nope. An hour+ of cleaning is not worth 20 minutes of distraction