Kids/Family/Life, Parenting & Family

Parenting: Messy house? Messy activities? Don’t be afraid of the mess!

Messy house? Messy activities? Don’t be afraid of the mess! When I say messy house, I don’t mean a dirty or filthy house. Don’t take my words the wrong way. My house is always clean. Dishes are usually always caught up for the most part. However, I could make some improvements on staying caught up on the laundry. My floors are swept and mopped fairly regularly. All that being said, my house is definitely not immaculate and quite frankly, I don’t see that happening until my kids are all grown and moved out.

My house is clean but it’s messy. And you know what? I don’t care. It used to bother me. A lot. Eventually after having our first kiddo, I got over it. After I went through my supermom stage which was nothing but stressful. We used to have tons of toys in the living room. We went through this with all three of our kids until they were old enough to learn how to go up and down the stairs safely. And we felt comfortable enough for them to be upstairs in their bedrooms without constant supervision. So we always had toys everywhere. Most of the time they were picked up at the end of the day but if someone were to stop by, they would probably be stepping over toys all over the living room.

Boxes everywhere!

There used to be a time when we had boxes everywhere. Why? Because our youngest loved boxes. Especially ones he could fit in. My husband used to bring some home from work for him all the time. I would give him a box of crayons and he would be inside the box drawing and coloring all over it for an hour or two at a time. I didn’t really care if someone stopped by and saw these boxes sitting around. They were his. I mean, look how happy he looked. About a box. It allowed him to show his creativity and he had fun with them. So the boxes stayed in my clean but messy house.

My kids are older now and even though we don’t have toys in our living room anymore, there are still messes everywhere. There may be a pair of socks over there. Or over there. And maybe over there too. They may have a few of their things sitting around in the living room. But they will pick their stuff up. Even if they need reminded. There may even be pillows all over the floor because for some reason our dog doesn’t like to leave the pillows on the couch.

The chair

Oh I am sure you know what I am talking about. Maybe you don’t have a chair and have a table instead. But you know that chair or table that may be out of the way for the most part that you constantly throw things on and think “I’ll find a place for that later”. No? Well, I have one. Eventually we all go through it and clear it out just to start over. Don’t get me wrong, we all have chores. Our kids have chores, I clean, my husband usually cooks and fixes things he probably has no business trying to fix but messes happen. Our house looks and feels like it’s lived in. It feels like home.

We also have an extra table in our dining room. That’s where our kids play with certain messy things. Or color, draw, or do some sort of project. That table isn’t always cleared either. I don’t mind it because that usually means that they have been working on something that they aren’t finished with. It actually makes me smile when I see that messy table when we sit down at the dining room table to eat dinner.

Messy toys

There used to be a time I hated things like Play-Doh, clay and other things like it. And that is actually pretty unfortunate I ever felt that way. I’m glad I changed my mind on that. We had a pretty big play mat that was great for things like that. We would put the play mat down on the kitchen floor and that’s where they would play with it. If anything got on the floor it was a lot easier to clean up. Hey, I may have gotten over some of these messy substances but I am not completely crazy. I don’t want the stuff mashed into my carpet.

They have a lot of fun messy stuff to play with. They have Floof, various slimes and putties, and they also have some Sands Alive. Even I enjoy playing with all that stuff! The reason it was unfortunate of me to despise these kinds of things to play with is because they are great for sensory and creative play. Messy play (including messy activities) promotes coordination, fine motor skills and sensory stimulation. Non structured play encourages creativity and learning. And it’s just downright fun.

Messy play

When my kids were younger, they loved finger painting. Or any kind of painting. We even did some pudding painting a couple times which turned out to be pretty fun. Last summer we filled water balloons with food coloring and water. Threw on some old clothes and painted each other by throwing water balloons. We have also done shaving cream art which was also pretty fun.

Minimize the mess

Messy play can be cringe worthy. I get it. Even though I have grown to really love messy play and I learned how to be a bit more laid back when it comes to the mess, I still try to minimize getting the mess everywhere. Like I stated before, I am not completely crazy. I kept old plastic table cloths from past birthday parties they have had. I still have some from like 10 years ago if you can believe that. They are kept in a “art table cloth box” that my youngest calls it. I use them to cover the extra table in the dining room. If they are using paint, I wipe it down after they are done so it can be re-used once again. So they have their own creative work space that can be covered as well.

Another thing we use a lot are shallow plastic bins. I bought a few of these so that way if they are doing some sort of messy activity, most of the mess can be contained in the bin. If it’s nice outside, it makes messy play that much more easy because they are more than happy to be outside.

So don’t stress about the house mess. And don’t be afraid of messy activities. Life can be messy so just enjoy it and have fun!

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About Nicole Anderson

My name is Nicole and I write DustinNikki Mommy of Three. I enjoy writing product reviews and hosting giveaways. I have been married to my high school sweetheart for 20 years and we have three kids. When I am not terribly busy running someone to band or soccer practices, I find some time to write. I also like to write about my kids, family and life. My family enjoys the outdoors - hiking, canoeing, and exploring things we haven't seen or been before. Thanks for stopping by and checking out my blog!
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22 thoughts on “Parenting: Messy house? Messy activities? Don’t be afraid of the mess!

  1. Oh gosh! I can relate. With kids, the house can just get messy because of their presence. Kids can be so playful and there is no need of getting mad about that. I feel like what’s important is teaching the kids how to put things back in order even after messing things up. That makes them grow into responsible people too.

  2. Yes my kids make mess all the time, still if they are not there my house will be looks fine. But the happiness I get with two kids is not there. So I enjoy the mess. Love this messy activities.

  3. I don’t have kids but I work with children and when I’ve introduced messy play I always pray that it doesn’t destroy my office. I’ve found that if there are some boundaries to the play that helps without limiting creativity. That and ensuring the mess is finished so that my clients are aware we’ve finished and need to transition to the next activity helps as well. That way I’m not cleaning up shaving cream, playdoh and paints from my office before the next client gets there lol.

    1. I do the same thing! We try to minimize the mess as much as possible. I don’t want to limit creativity either. Some of the bigger activities we try out, I have a friend over or my sister with her kids. That way I have more hands for the cleanup.

  4. I am such a clean person but if I did have a kid, I wouldn’t mind them being a bit messy. But I am going to teach them how to clean up after.

    1. Same here! They do clean up after themselves for the most part. Sometimes they need a little reminding. LOL. I just had to learn to take a step back when it comes to the mess!

  5. I hear you! I stopped being the Supermom years ago. My house is a mess and my kitchen island is THAT PLACE! But, now I have the attitude, I will get to it when I can…and much happier for it. Thanks for sharing!

    1. You are welcome! Yes, I did the Supermom thing when we first started a family and it was so stressing! Not only for me but for my family too. It’s much more relaxing and fun after learning to step back a little. 🙂

    1. Messy is a part of growing up. I try to keep the super messy stuff outside but we definitely have play doh in the carpet often and my son went through a box phase. Healthy, happy, and learning that’s all I’m worried about for now. Later on we can try for the neat house.

      1. I totally agree! I used to be afraid of messy stuff but thankfully I got over it. Messy play is so important. Eventually I may have a neatly kept house but for now, I am happy with it!

  6. Kids should always be allowed to be messy, it is how they express their creativity. I did read at some point somewhere that a study revealed that messy people are the most creative ones.

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