If encouraging messy play in your house sounds as far fetched as living on Mars, then this is the article for you!
Today I’m going to explain how easy it is to get your kids involved in messy play activities and keep your sanity at the same time! Sound like something you’d be interested in learning more about? Then read on …
Why Encouraging Messy Play is Important
There are plenty of reasons to encourage messy play, five of which we have discussed in our article Benefits of Messy Play. They include:
- improved physical development
- language development
- creative development
- cognitive development
- social and emotional development.
After all, messy play is where our children can explore, try new things and practice skills they already know.
Keeping Your Sanity While Encouraging Messy Play
It’s true that messy play isn’t a clean activity. Nor is it usually quiet. Because of these reasons, parents are often reluctant to provide the resources and opportunities for their kids to get down and dirty! But today I’m going to change all of that by sharing these six clever tips with you:
- Lay Down the Rules – kids appreciate being told the boundaries right at the start of an activity. Decide on how you can limit the mess and stick with it. This can include staying in one area to play with the sand, or keeping their slime on the tarpaulin.
- Cover Up the Play Area – a simple way to keep messy play clean is to cover the play space before you start. Simply lay out an old sheet, tarpaulin or even a shower curtain. Our elasticated Fitted Tablecloths are ideal for protecting your table top – especially if you’re using your dining room table!
- Relax – as stressful as it can be, know that accidents will happen and mess will be made. You can help by limiting messy supplies and having cleaning supplies handy to wipe up spills.
- Encourage Cleaning Up – while it can be a battle to get kids to clean up after themselves, it’s an important task to keep on about. Or nag, whichever works for you!
- Have a Cleaning Plan – you’ve accepted that mess will happen, so be prepared for it! Gather all your supplies in one place, work out what you will clean first and enjoy a more orderly clean up.
- Head Outside – on the grass, the concrete or even the deck, the outside is a great place for messy play. Spilt some slime? Just hose it off. Dropped the paint? Again, the hose is your best friend. This is a great solution for parents who just can’t bear the thought of paint being trod around the house (and yes, this has happened to me too!).
If the weather doesn’t permit outdoor messy play check out our Midwinter Messy Madness article for tips and tricks for indoor messy play.
There’s one thing I have missed out and that’s keeping your kids clothing clean. At Mud Mates, we sell a range of water resistant and waterproof products ideal for messy play. From Coveralls to Overpants and our Craft Aprons, it’s easy to reduce your washing load by popping your kids into their Mud Mates!
Take a look through our store now and if you have any questions, feel free to get in touch.
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