I love children who know how to make a good mess. I really do. Even if I’m the one cleaning up after them. It’s evidence of a child who loves to explore, who loves to experiment, and who has no boundaries or limits distracting him/her from a raw learning experience. A child-made mess is a beautiful thing in my eyes.
But sometimes it’s impracticable. Like when I’m cooking dinner, or prepping for guests to come over, or when I’m already on hands and knees scrubbing after another mess. I’m not going to pretend I’m 100% of the time chipper about letting “kids be kids”. There is a limit to my sanity.
The other day, baby boy managed to reach that limit pretty quickly. I was trying to cook dinner, and nothing seemed to entertain him. Should I let him down so he could completely destroy my kitchen? Normally I would, but I was about to have a breakdown from an overwhelming sense of exhaustion.
Well, water is easy enough to clean up right? With that thought in mind, I began collecting little plastic cups to fill with water, when I suddenly had a new idea. Construction paper is not only bright and fun to look at, but when put into contact with water there is a color difference.
In a matter of moments I had a ridiculously easy-to-clean art project. I gave him some brushes of various textures (the sponge brushes work the best), a piece of construction paper, and a plastic cup filled with water. No paint needed. He simply brushed the water onto the paper.
One of the best parts? When the water dries it’s as if nothing happened to the paper (maybe it’s a bit wrinkled depending on how harshly baby treated it). Therefor, your materials are reusable!