Love messy projects but hate the mess? Use these simple out-of-the-box ideas to keep messy activities clean! Or at least, cleanER.
You wish your kids were spending more time on productive activities and crafts, but are afraid to face the mess afterwards?
Stick to these few tips and we promise you won’t have to spend more than half an hour cleaning after messy play.
Easy, Out-of-the-Box Ways to Keep Messy Activities Clean(er)
Don’t be afraid of messy crafts and activities! Use these tips to keep kid messes under control.
Use the Bathroom!
Sensory activities, slime, and finger painting? You don’t want these activities to be taking place in your living room. I could tell you horror stories of glue, glitter, and food coloring ground into our carpet (but ask me if you need help getting anything out of carpet- I’m kind of an expert). Instead, use the bathroom!
Clean up is a snap! All you have to do is rinse with water afterwards and wipe excess water with a sponge. The kids will have fun,and you can clean the mess with your regular bathroom cleaner and knock out two birds with one stone. That’s efficiency!
Keep the Trash Can Close
Some children have a knack for cut and paste projects with colorful papers.
We all know what this means – tons of paper everywhere. You can contain this mess easily as long as you place a garbage bin or even a bucket next to your kids’ work surface. Just ask the little ones to throw away the useless clippings in the trash.
Try Lint Rollers
Kids go nuts for glitter and sequins. Unfortunately, their parents are the ones who end up with glitter all over their clothing! Or in their eyes.
Of course, you can always vacuum the glittery mess away, if you feel like it. But there’s an easier and more effective way to remove glitter and sequins from your soft furniture – just use a lint roller! The sparkly particles will stick to the roller and that’s it!
Use a Play Tray
If you don’t feel like spending an entire afternoon cleaning glue and watercolors off your furniture, use a play tray! Our favorite play tray is HUGE (this is the one we have) and it has been a lifesaver so many times! Sometimes we double up on our play surfaces by placing newspaper under our play tray.
Once the kids have finished with their art project, all you will have to do is wash the tray in the sink and wipe their work surface clean with a wet sponge.
The outdoors is great for messy crafts. Our porch is permanently “decorated” with bits of glue, glitter, slime, and food coloring! So, if you don’t want to ruin the look of your porch, maybe go into the grass.
Organize Your Craft Materials
One thing that is important during messy play is that kids realize that when the activity is done, they also have to help clean up. I always make my kids help with the clean-up after a messy project. We actually store our materials in a bookcase right now, but eventually, I want to get storage cubbies for all our supplies.
When the craft activities are done for the day, put the materials away, disinfect the child’s work surface with a cleaning wipe and you are good to go.
Our Favorite Messy Activities
Now that you are armed with tips to keep messy activities clean, try some of our favorite messy activities!
Join the Homeschooling 101 group for more hands-on teaching ideas!