Have you ever just gotten down and dirty messy with your kids? I mean really, really messy? So messy that you started wondering whether or not you were going to be able to get all of it cleaned up before your spouse got home?
Not the kind of mess where the kids are getting out everything in the house, and you’re trying your best to get something done, and so you grit your teeth and let them do whatever keeps them quiet for a few minutes. Not the kind of mess where your toddler has emptied everything out of the cabinets, or your older child has mixed up the pieces to six different board games and you don’t even remember which one is which anymore.
The kind of mess that you aren’t sure you’ll be able to get out of the carpet without a deep cleaning. The kind where you find the remnants of this particular day weeks and weeks later, and just look back on it and smile.
That kind of mess.
It has benefits that you probably haven’t considered….
You don’t want to be the parent who says no all the time.
Sure, in a lot of ways, it’s easier. No, you can’t make a mess. No, you can’t play with things that I’ll spend the next week trying to get out of the carpet before I give up. No, you can’t have that.
On the other hand, every once in a while, coming out and saying yes to something that your kids don’t expect not only get you cool-mom points, but also relieve a lot of the stress on all of you. Sometimes, out of the blue, just try saying yes. See what happens. Sure, you might have a big mess to clean up; but you might also have a lot of fun.
Everyone will have a lot of fun.
There will be smiles on every face when you’re done—even yours. There are a lot of sensory materials that make a huge mess in the process, but that are well worth the bother—a bonus for high-needs kids, toddlers, and even ordinary kids. You never know–you might have more fun than you think, too.
You’ll get some great pictures.
Think about those perfect photographable moments. Do they tend to come when all of you are being neat and tidy and staying out of messes, or when the kids have made a huge mess, gotten into something absolutely outrageous, and had a blast doing it? Think ear-to-ear grins and memories that will last a lifetime.
It will change the mood of the day.
Those days when nothing is going right, everyone is whining and being hard to get along with, and at the best you can do, no one seems to be really accomplishing anything? They can be turned around completely with a good messy activity. Try it sometime. Everyone benefits from some good, old-fashioned sensory play—getting their hands into something that they don’t usually get to play with, squishing some fun materials between their fingers, and getting into mischief.
The kids will feel like they’re getting away with something.
Especially if you tend to be a “no” sort of mom, the kids will get a kick out of getting to do something that they’re usually denied—and hey, in the end, they’re going to have to help clean up the mess anyway…right?