Making a mess is good for kids. How many perfectionist parents are violently cringing at the mere sight of that statement? There is something about the freedom of messy play which helps a child’s development to flourish. They are able to make new discoveries about the world around them using all their senses. It is fun to watch them exercise their curiosity and gather a little knowledge here and there.
Letting your kids explore the world around them without fear of the mess it will make is a healthy past-time for them. They can relax, experiment with different textures, express their feelings, and develop their hand-eye coordination. There is an endless supply of activities to choose from, but here is a list of just a few of our favorites.
Playing in the Dirt
If you live in the country, you probably enjoy gardening. Sharing your love of planting with your kids can be a wonderful learning experience, and kids having dirt parties seems to be just a standard part of growing up. They love to dig holes and tunnels or maybe create mini towns for their cars to drive through. What parent hasn’t pretended to eat a mud pie with an expression of pure bliss, claiming it is the tastiest morsel ever as their child grins with pure pride.
Have you ever considered mud painting? What fun the kids will have making their own mud and then adding a little food coloring to each container full, making all different colors so they can create painted masterpieces. They could paint trees, chunks of wood, or probably even each other if not watched close enough. Adding some extra dirt to the mud, making it thicker, and it could be a medium for colored balls to bat around or maybe crude pottery.
Some people do not have big yards outside which makes it harder to play in the dirt, so we came up with an idea for you too. You will need a large piece of plastic for the dining room floor, a large cake pan, some cooked noodles and lots of chocolate pudding. Kids will get a huge kick out of playing with “worms” in the “mud”.
Fun With Water
When the weather starts to get warm, we all love to gravitate towards the water, and when it comes to making a mess water is always a fun option. There are lots of fun ideas, but our favorites are probably Squart and Pop Paints. No, these are not products we are trying to sell. They are fun, messy games you can play with your kids.
Squart is our word for squirt + art. All you need is a chunk of butcher paper attached to the fence or on an easel and a collection of dollar store spray bottles full of different colors of food-colored water. Your kids will love having the fun creative outlet, provided you can keep them from coloring all over each other.
A similar fun activity is Pop Paints. It is similar because you are using food-colored water, but let’s use it to fill up water balloons this time. Give the children each a white t-shirt to wear, some colorful balloons and let them have fun making some art. They will definitely make a mess, but they will have a blast doing it too.
Chalk It Up
Another activity, one that takes a little more preparation, is glow-in-the-dark chalk. Mix together a cup of plaster of Paris, a tablespoon of fluorescent paint, and three-quarters of a cup of warm water. Pour this concoction into an ice tray to harden. Your kids will stay busy all day drawing their works of art all over the sidewalk. Then when it gets dark outside and they have to come in, they will still be able to see their artwork through the window.
There are a lot of ideas online to help your kids get messy. You can use paint, clay, sand, water, or some foods. Enjoy the exploration. Kids will have fun playing and socializing, expressing themselves, and using their senses to discover the world around them. Mom always said that any problem in life can be fixed with by pausing your day to blow bubbles. That is true, even if the soap is rolling down to their elbows and dripping onto their shirt. The extra laundry will be worth it. What is life without a few messes?
This guest post is brought to you by Daniel Chabert
A sporty and an entrepreneur. Performing at the sweet spot between minimalism and purpose to develop visual solutions that inform and persuade. He also writes reviews and recommendations on BornCute, ThatSweetGift and NicerShoes.