Arts and crafts without the mess? Someone help!

  • I want my children to be artistic and enjoy arts and crafts, but most of the time I cringe when they want to do a project because of the mess it leaves behind. How do you encourage your child’s artistic side without spending an hour cleaning up afterwards? Are arts and crafts without the mess possible? -- Bonnie, Strongmoms Facilitator

  • I always strip my son down to his diaper for easy clean up. I also have an old t-shirt just for crafts if it's too cold to do that. I lay out a picnic table cloth on the table - the kind with the plastic top. It's super easy to clean up when my son is done with crafts. I also like to put old sheets on the floor if they are painting at the table, etc. I don't care if paint gets on those sheets and I don't have to wipe up the floor. Hope this helps a little! 

  • I like the plastic table cloth thing!!! I just wish that play-doh didn't end up ground into the carpet when they are done!

  • I buy a rubber mat for them when they do the arts and crafts. That was easy to clean up.

  • I saw this quote on a print and loved it.  You just made me think of it-  

    "PARDON THE MESS, MY CHILDREN ARE MAKING MEMORIES."

  • For painting projects, I strip my daughter down to her diaper, and lay out flattened out cardboard boxes and/or the cheap plastic drop cloths.  I have an old shirt and pair of jeans that I wear too.  One of my friends said she puts her daughter in the tub for some of their art projects.  When it comes to every day coloring with crayons or markers, we make sure she uses her activity table.  It's a very dark brown, and it easy to clean.  If she gets anything on it, it's her table- not the coffee table or kitchen table.  Just try to have fun!  You only get so many chances for art projects!

  • yes, you are all right! I am learning to get over the mess factor, but sometimes I just don't want to spend 30 minutes cleaning up what took them 5 minutes to make! Oh well, like you said...they're only young once.