If you’re planning to get the kids involved in arts and crafts this summer, chances are you’re very much aware it won’t be a clean and tidy process. In fact, the very mention of things like paints, crayons, modelling clay and glue is usually enough to see most parents grimacing at the thought. After all, it’s not as if the average family home where young kids are involved is a beacon of control and order – all the more so after introducing these kinds of goodies.
Of course, the vast majority would whole-heartedly agree that a little chaos and mess is more than worth it when considering what the kids and indeed the whole family get out of arts and crafts activities. According to the experts at Handy Hippo Crafts, there’s really no better way of nurturing development and encouraging the kinds of healthy pursuits that are a far cry from staring at various screens all day. What’s more, it’s perfectly possible to keep chaos and mess to something of a minimum, or at least make the clean-up process a great deal easier than it otherwise is.
Here are a few tips for bringing the chaos of crafts under control:
1 – Accept There Will Be Mess
First of all, if you get into things with even the slightest notion that there will be no mess at all, you’re in for a let-down. There will undoubtedly be mess and most likely quite a bit of it, which means that the first thing you need to do is accept and perhaps even embrace this. If you’re expecting things to stay clean and tidy, you’ll only get frustrated and angry when it just doesn’t happen. It’s not to say that you really must wreck your home to have fun, but in terms of there being at least a bit of a mess to deal with, brace for impact!
2 – A Strong Defence
They always say the best offense is a good line of defence – a theory that couldn’t be more true here. Now, it sort of takes some of the fun away from things if you insist on covering everything in your home in inch-thick plastic sheeting before allowing finger-paints to be used, but at the same time there’s nothing wrong with common-sense caution. Cover the crafts table, maybe put a sheet on the floor underneath and make sure anything within the ‘splash zone’ is either covered up or removed.
3 – Check Out Kiddy Craft Clothing
Don’t forget that there’s a pretty great range of kiddy clothing on sale these days that’s been designed specifically to both make things as fun as possible and keep them clean. Something along the lines of a kiddy lab coat can be just the ticket for keeping as much of the mess off their clothes as possible and making sure you’re not tearing your hair out by watching them ruin their favourite clothes, time and time again.
4 – Clean As You Go
It’s the single most important rule for making domestic life as easy as it can possibly by – clean as you go. Now, this doesn’t mean going completely OTT and cleaning up every last drop of everything colourful the moment it hits the table covering. What it does mean however is doing your best to keep things in order as you go along, rather than allowing things to build up and eventually ending up with the mother of all messes to tackle. And of course, teaching the kids to clean as they go will benefit them and the whole family going forward.
5 – Buy Quality Products
The quality of the products you buy will have a marked effect on how much mess is made and how tricky it all is to clean up. For example, some bottles and the likes are made to reduce dripping as much as possible, in order to avoid excess mess. Likewise, other paints and colourful products are designed to be 100% water-soluble, which makes them a breeze to get out of fabrics and so on. Look for these kinds of benefits and traits when buying – you’ll be glad you did.
6 – Storage Solutions
Last but not least, one of the most important tips of all for the long-term is that making sure you have clever storage solutions for all kiddy craft supplies you stock up on, in order to ensure everything has its place. It’s when things start ending up being scattered all over the place that you get the sense you’re losing control, so be sure to take back a little control and invest in some appropriate storage solutions.