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Crafting With Kids Can Be Messy

Crafting together is a great way to bond with our kids.  It gets them thinking creatively, and it provides for real quality time together.  The biggest drawback is that it can get very, very messy!

kids arts and crafts tools 

Certain crafts are just messy by nature, and when you add small hands to the mix, they become even messier.  But you don't have to choose between letting your kids be creative and keeping your sanity.  With a little preparation, you can prevent most messes before they happen.  And for those you couldn't avoid, you can often clean them up before they do any permanent damage if you act quickly.  Here's how:

 * It's best to have a craft table to use for projects, but that's not always practical.  If you're working at the kitchen table, remove the tablecloth and cover it thoroughly with newspaper.  If your child is using watercolors or other thin mediums that could soak through, use a double layer.

* Avoid carpeted areas at all costs.  Some carpets release stains easily, but others hold on to them for dear life.  Replacing carpet isn't cheap, so it's better to be safe than sorry.  If you have nowhere to craft that isn't carpeted, put newspapers or old rugs on the floor around the crafting area, including underneath the table and chairs.

* Make sure everyone wears a smock or apron, or at least some old clothing.  Crafting in frilly dresses and suits is a disaster waiting to happen!

* Get washable markers, paints and crayons for your kids to use.  They wash right out of fabrics and are easy to wipe off of surfaces.

* Forget about loose glitter.  Buy glitter glue instead.  It's easier to use, and you won't be cleaning tiny bits of glitter out of the carpet for weeks to come. (Yes, loose glitter will make its way there even if you're crafting far away from carpeted areas.)

day 329: sock dog eyes

* Give kids a wet washcloth to clean their hands on as needed.  This will make it much easier to get their hands nice and clean when they're done.

* Keep cleaning supplies close at hand.  Having paper towels, surface cleaners, and clothing stain removers nearby will make it less likely that any messes that do occur will leave their mark permanently.

* Beading and other crafts that require small pieces won't cause stains,
but the pieces can end up everywhere.  Give your child a small plastic food storage container to keep supplies in to help keep them from getting away.

Craft time is much more pleasant for everyone if you don't have to worry so much about messes.  By using less messy materials and protecting clothing and surfaces just in case, you can make cleanup a breeze and save yourself a lot of unnecessary grief.

Happy crafting.


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