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Why Messy Art Play Matters

Since we can't go out much these days, try messy art play at home this week

I started The Doodlery back in 2018 for a few reasons. I wanted to create a space where 1. kids could freely create and play however they choose and 2. where parents didn't need to clean up after their kids.

I've met so many parents throughout the last few years who hate messes, but understand the value in it for kids. Getting messy can be super annoying since us parents are usually the ones stuck cleaning it up. However frustrating this can be, messy art play is not only fun for kids, but there are great developmental benefits of it. It can definitely become less of a hassle if it's well planned and thought through.

There is a video of Neil Degrasse Tyson talking about the importance of letting kids experiment and explore. He talks about how something as simple as cracking an egg can be an awesome science experiment for a kid, but adults often get in the way of this because we want to keep the house in order. How often do we tell our kids to stop making a mess because we don't want to clean up? I am definitely guilty of this. Sometimes I just don't want to clean up for the 238234th time!

As frustrating as clean up can be, messes are an important part of childhood. Messy play doesn't necessarily equate to getting out of control and wasting supplies. Your environment can controlled for the activity to be messy. Each lesson we create at the art studio is carefully planned and prepped so clean up isn't too much of a hassle.

Ways to Contain The Mess

1. Canvas drop cloths and towels
2. Low clear storage bins (IKEA SAMLA bin is my favorite)
3. IKEA Flisat table

I want you to think about your own relationship to messes. Think back to your childhood: were messes discouraged or encouraged in your home? Messes can trigger an instant reaction for many people. If your kid is getting into paint and it gets all over their clothes, hands & face, what is your immediate reaction? Run to the sink? Let them continue? Messes are something we can control, especially during a period of our lives where we can't control much. Whatever your feelings are towards messes, they are valid and important.

I am a definitely messy person. My parents never were too bothered with mess making. We were always doing some art project and our house was a happy mess. Yes I do love a tidy home, but I'm not one to continually pick up after my family. It's a never ending job that is stresses me out so I've learned to just let it be and pick up when I can. I am the queen of shoving things into closets and drawers never to be found again!

I challenge you to set up a time and place this week for designated messy play