I am one of those moms who looks through the science book or art curriculum to see the level of mess required in order to decide whether we'll tackle that learning activity or not. I don't like a huge mess mostly because I don't enjoy cleaning them up! However, I've realized that with the right strategy, I can accomplish two lessons in one, and have fun making a mess with my kids at the same time.
My secret? Teach the kids to clean up after themselves!! I might be late to the party, but giving kids the freedom to make a mess and the tools to clean it up is revolutionary to me. My kids have always cleaned the house, but generally where there is a bigger mess, I get left with the job of getting crusted cake batter off of the counter and paint off of the table. They need to learn the right tool for the right job, and messy learning provides the perfect opportunity.
Start with the Clean Squad: Clorox + Viva Towels
We started with an educational trip to Walmart to check out their options. With dreams of messy projects on their minds, we talked through what tools we'd need to clean them up. Here are our selections:
- Clorox + Bleach - Fresh Scent - for it's special ability to clean and disinfect a variety of stains on a variety of surfaces
- Viva Big Rolls - Feels like a cloth, but totally disposable! With 40% more Viva per roll (Towel area compared to Viva® Regular Roll), I knew we could use all the help we could get!
It's important to equip them with the tools to read labels and know which products do what and where!
Equipped with our clean squad, here's some messy learning adventure inspiration:
Chemistry in the Kitchen
Baking is all about chemistry. Different amounts of different ingredients create different results. You can play with the scientific method in the chemistry of baking for hours by simply isolating a variable (like baking soda) and testing out different amounts in your culinary delights.
I decided to let my girls loose in the kitchen for some baking fun. They made a huge mess, but they had so much fun. They also learned a lot about cleaning up afterwards!
Painting on the Patio
One of my daughters' favorite activities is painting. Sadly, some of my least favorite messes to clean up are painting messes. Inevitably someone spills the water cup, gets paint on the table, or paint on their clothes. However, there are so many beautiful things that happen when my girls paint.
They love being creative. My fear of a big mess just hinders their progress. It's okay if the messes happen! I just make sure they're lots of paper towels around!
If I start out with the expectation that they will clean up the messes that they make, both of us win. They get to create to their heart's content, and I don't have to worry too much about what they might ruin. You see, the people in my life are way more precious than the things I own. That's the best lesson of all.
Find the Clean Squad at WalMart
Order fresh groceries online with Walmart and enjoy the same in-store savings with free pickup. Walmart will even load your car! Click here to see if it's available in your area!
Betsy Strauss is an unexpected homeschooler, mother of three, who is in a relationship with a sweet man for life. She loves reading books, drinking coffee, and learning anything with her kids.