More Messy Play Fun & Parent Advice: De-Stress and Embrace the Mess

Guest blogger Amy K. Williams shares these ideas for more messy play fun. I can hardly wait to try them, especially the rainbow powder activity. Enjoy! Or, in her words, “De-stress and embrace the mess.”

Three Kid-Friendly Crafts that Celebrate the Craziness of Chaos

Parents spend a good part of each day cleaning up after kids. Handprints on appliances, crumbs on the floor…and don’t get me started on the bathroom disasters (yuck!). Kids make messes; their ability to tornadically strew random toys and leave trails of crumbs seems to be innately programmed into their little strings of DNA.

While, as parents, we spend hours each day trying to stop them from messy mischief–and to avoid cleaning up the debris—sometimes messes are fun. Yes, there are days when we need to encourage our kids to go crazy with crafts and immerse in muck, mire and messiness!

Playing with different textures and even engaging in messy play is healthy and good for kids. As parents, no matter how much those disasters pain us, we need to promote getting down and dirty with the playtime!

If your OCD mom tendencies are clamming up and freaking out (mine are!), try to chill out. We’re all in this together. After all, it takes a village…right? Right?! Get ready to go elbow deep in crazy messy fun, because to usher in the colorful month of May (flowers!), we’re about to get crafty! Go change into some old clothes and have fun with this trio of cute, artistic and oh so messy craft ideas:

Paint Splatter T-shirts

more messy play fun
What you need: Plain white t-shirts (try discount stores), fabric paints, old clothes (that you can get dirty)

Have kids channel their inner Jackson Pollock! Go out in the backyard for this paint activity, because the colors will literally fly! Put shirts on a hanger or secure them on a clothesline, have kids dip paintbrushes in the paints and flick, splat and drop the paint all over their white shirts. Blank canvas in wearable form! Yes, it will get messy…but that’s why you’re outside!

Rainbow Powdermore messy play fun

What you need (for DIY): Cornstarch, water, food dye, a mixing bowl, food processor and gloves

Have you participated in a Color Run? Runners are doused in fun colorful powder that makes you feel like you just ran through a rainbow. Powders are non-toxic and can be purchased at different websites (even Walmart), and they’re fairly inexpensive. However, you can make your own…and, frankly, I’m all over DIY. And so are kids! The website A Beautiful Mess has a recipe for making the colorful powder (while it isn’t difficult, you need a few days to dry out the powder). Whether you make your own unicorn-inspired powder or buy online, the fun is in the experience. Rainbow powder is meant to be thrown! Take kids outside and let them dual it out by dousing each other in rainbows. And if you’re feeling really magical, add some glitter to the powder!

Mud Kingdoms

more messy play funWhat you need: A hose, dirt, imagination and….old clothes!

Oh, dirt…it’s the most omnipresent debris in kid clean ups. But when you mix it with water, simple dirt becomes malleable mud. Drench your dirt and let kids play in the oozy mucky mud. I know, I know…it’s a mess. But they love it! And the texture is good for sensory play. Encourage kids to create their own mud architecture. Let them build cities or ‘bake’ mud pies. The mud can be whatever they want it to be…let them sculpt. Mud is the ultimate organic substance!

A child’s life doesn’t have to always be clean and structured, and it’s good for kids to know that it’s ok—and even fun—to get messy and dirty sometimes. Let kids engage in colorful and muddy activities and give them permission to make a mess! The best part: the messes can be cleaned up with your garden hose! Now go get crazy and make a huge mess with your kids!

amy-kristine-williamsAmy. K. Williams pops over to visit and shares great ideas for fun and learning. Thank you, Amy for more messy play fun and your advice to us. Amy  is a free-lance journalist based in Southern California and mother of two. Wonder if her house has rainbows…


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