Sunday, June 16, 2024

Summertime Reminder: More Mess = More Fun (Mostly)

This article first appeared on the following site on July 5, 2016
Reprinted here with revisions.
Monkey Bars, Mud Pies, and Movement
by: M.B.Varville-Rodriguez

Copyright 2018 World of Writer Mom


It's O.K. to let the kiddos enjoy a water play fountain or mud puddle once in a while.  One of the best memories I have from childhood is when my younger brother and I played in a huge mud puddle outside our home.  We were covered in mud and totally soaked in dirty water.  My parents, unbeknownst to us, were filming our antics.  They have the evidence that I encouraged my brother to dip his hair into the filthy muck and we both laughed as the muddy water trickled down his face when he lifted his head.  We had a blast and I'm still amazed that my parents actually let us do that.  My mother said that she never could get all that mud out of our clothing no matter how many times she washed them. But that memory is priceless. Documenting memories is an investment in your family's history!  

Don't worry, my brother got me back many times over. He could tell me a story with a straight face, and I always believed him. I kinda still do. His jokes are legendary, and I love it when he sends me my favorite "Far Side" cartoons. But the amount of fun we had as kids often involved getting as much mud, dirt, and water on ourselves as possible before the streetlights came on at night.

   Let's paint, create with play dough, cook in the kitchen, 
and make blanket tents! 

Copyright 2018 World of Writer Mom
Kids need lots of opportunities to explore, play, and get messy.  I remember a day when I took my three children to a park right after it rained.  I had not anticipated the play area would be so flooded.  The kids were restless and didn't care that the ground beneath the swing set was muddy.  They had been in the house all day and needed to play.  I hadn't planned for it but went ahead and let them get messy.  They laughed, had fun, and even made-up stories to go along with their muddy adventure.  I couldn't help but laugh with them as I recalled my own muddy memories.  We finally decided to go home when it became too chilly, and the wind picked up.  I didn't even mind the clean-up of both car and kids following our visit to the park. 

Here are a few things to remember if it's hard for you 
to get on board with the tremendous messes 
that come with childhood:

Summertime Reminders

1. Kids are washable. A bit of bath water and some soap and most of them clean up well.

Copyright 2018 World of Writer Mom

2.  Messy memories are some of the best ones. We also loved lots of finger painting that
     often reached beyond their fingertips, play dough, cookie creations with lots of flour
     everywhere, and bubbles. All of these required clean up.

3.  Dirt, sand, and grass stains were the result of many creative play adventures. Kids learn
     through play. Let them have opportunities to explore and get messy! Then take them to
     the laundry mat for a whole new adventure! (Lol)

Copyright 2018 World of Writer Mom

4.  Don't worry too much about the clothes. They outgrow them pretty fast anyways. Also,
     shop at thrift stores like Good Will and The ARC to save on clothing costs. Then you
     won't feel as bad when the clothes get messed up. Save other clothes for special
     occasions if you'd like but be prepared to take pictures right after putting them on the
     kiddos. Chances are, that adorable outfit won't stay clean very long. 

5.  Kids LOVE projects! When my siblings and I were growing up, my mother signed up to
     receive craft kits once a month. This kept us occupied and allowed our family to create
     some incredibly fun things: Candle making, Macrame plant hangers, Decoupage
     decorations for the wall, Cross stitch Christmas ornaments, and so many more! 

Copyright 2018 World of Writer Mom

Inside Secrets of a Former Child Development Teacher

TIP:  If your child attends a full day childcare program/school, please expect that at some point those clothes will become dirty. Please do NOT send them in their best outfits and expect them to look the same way at the end of the day. They need to have fun, and the teachers need to worry about other things besides keeping clothes clean.
I have to remind myself on a daily basis that messes comes with childhood.  Now that my three children are much older, I do have expectations that they pick up their room and try to keep the house clean.  (And that battle is for another blog.)

Copyright 2018 World of Writer Mom

As I write this, their rooms reflect a disaster of epic proportions, and I am trying to breathe through the trauma that occurs when I walk past their I try to keep closed. But for now, I'll smile at the messy memories as we work toward that next stage in their development. 

Happy Monday everyone!

Copyright 2018 World of Writer Mom

Wishing everyone a wonderful week filled 

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