I remember back in the day when I had only 4 children, I did crafts almost every day with my children. We made many messes with markers, finger paints, play dough, glue, you name it we made it!!! I had a close friend who was staying with us while her husband was on deployment and she couldn’t believe that I would “allow” my children to make such messes. It stressed her out because she had little ones and mine were older and not as prone to making such a huge mess. I laughed and thought it was funny, then my time came.
I slowly started having little ones and my craft cupboard got leaner and leaner as I had more children. Today I still don’t “allow” markers, finger paints, and all those individual Oriental Trading crafts with sticker backs, aghhhh!!! It grew out of a need because my little ones would mysteriously appear with a mural on my walls from markers. Or I would find lovely stickers stuck to my wood floors in the bedrooms. I decided to just get rid of anything that was too messy.
We do keep crayons, scissors, and glue but that is all. I try and keep it up high on the shelf and we don’t have too many problems with crayon marks appearing on the walls all of a sudden.
One thing that we do make for the winter months is play dough. Basically I just know that it is going to require a complete clean up of my dining room and I expect that. I let them play and then we just clean everything up.
I usually make it with canola oil that we used to use. Well I don’t buy that anymore and I didn’t want to waste the money buying something that I didn’t have, I wanted to try a recipe with coconut oil.
The results were excellent. I noticed no difference in this kind from the canola oil I used to make. I love the fact that my children are getting a healthy dose of coconut oil naturally rubbed into their skin, which is much better than vegetable oil.
Here is what we mixed up in a large pot:
- 2 T coconut oil
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup salt
- 2 cups flour
- 4 tsp cream of tartar
I put it in the order above and turned the burner on low. I stirred until it mixed up—in my opinion it mixed up better than my old recipe with vegetable oil. I then kneaded it on my counter until it was smooth and pliable.
Sorry for the “glare” from the window. Here the children were having fun playing with it. I bought some googly eyes and sequins from the Dollar store for them to make snowmen. I know—messy!! But they are having fun.
My table has a fluted table top and that can get annoying when your children are playing with play dough. It likes to get stuck in the creases. I just let it harden and then take a small screwdriver and scrape out the flutes.
Messy??? Yes, but fun memories for my children. As a mom, I like order but I also have to let my children enjoy things. I like to call it organized chaos!! We can’t be so “stuck in the mud” and never let our children do anything because they might get messy or it takes too long to clean up. It is better to have to clean up your little boy who has been crawling, yes you read that correctly, around in Daddy’s shop playing with wrenches and tools and his clothing covered in grease then to be the complaining, overbearing wife who likes to “control” things. I don’t let my children run free and create messes always, but I do allow them lots of fun, free time, exploring and creating things that make a mess. It helps foster creativity in your child and can be a little fun for mom too.
When is the last time you sat down and created a cupcake out of play dough with your child? Or have you sat and enjoyed dirt cakes with grass and flowers for tea? How about playing with popcorn seeds in a small area for your little guy to scoop up in his mini front loaders and dump trucks?
All those creative, messy things can be fun memories for your child. My children still like the feed corn pool that we had in our basement. What a mess it could be!!! But it was okay, it was out of sight in the basement and was a fun treat to go play in when it was cold.
It’s good to be the “free-living” individual every once in a while. Make up a batch of this “good for your skin” play dough. Let down your guard and “allow” some mess!!