One of the things that I absolutely love about our preschool homeschool curriculum is how many messy play activities are included in each and every little yellow school bus box, but something I’ve noticed more and more often is that a lot of homeschool mamas are afraid of them.
Whether it’s because of the inevitable mess or even just being too busy to make it happen, sometimes it’s easy to forget how important messy play really is for little kids.
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If you’ve been around for a while, then you probably already know that we’re using Mother Goose Time for preschool homeschool.
It’s a theme-based program, which means learning about something new each month.
Just about every daily discovery bag includes some type of messy play activity. All of which encourage creative thinking and problem solving skills. What’s not to love about that? I mean, aside from the mess.
Here are 3 ways to rock messy play in your preschool homeschool.
3 Ways to Rock Messy Play In Your Preschool Homeschool
Create an art space for your kids
One of the first things that we did was to create an art space for the little guy. We have a rather large studio with hardwood floors and of course it seemed like the perfect space for him to explore all sorts of fun art and sensory activities.
I stumbled across the Flisat Children’s Table at Ikea and it’s all kinds of awesome. You can purchase two bins that fit inside of it and we use them to store all things sensory.
The little guy also has a separate table and chairs that we use for messy art projects. It’s totally covered in paint and ink and I seriously don’t even waste my time cleaning it anymore.
At this point, his supplies are stored on a low shelf and he can get things out and put them away on his own. It’s a beautiful thing.
Make sure little kids know the rules
The little guy knows that what’s in the bin stays in the bin. Occasionally we have accidents, but generally no big messes. At least not anymore. I will say that there’s definitely a learning curve.
There’s a period of time that you just sort of have to get through, which means being somewhat more flexible while your little kids learn the rules.
I’ve pretty much always been in the camp that a certain level of mess is to be expected. And as long as stuff isn’t getting thrown all over the place, I’m usually okay with it.
Of course there are days that for whatever reason we need to be more careful, but for the most part, I try to encourage it.
Have the right supplies on hand
It takes some time but as a homeschool mama, you get better at anticipating how to set up and clean up messy play activities. These days, the little guy works on trays. We have about a half dozen of them that we found at Ikea and they’ve worked really well for us.
And of course the hardwood floors in the studio are easy to clean. If making a mess on the floor is a concern, then definitely find an old shower curtain or something else that you can put down.
As far as cleaning up, we keep baby wipes and paper towels in the studio as well as an all-purpose cleaner that’s stored out of the little guy’s reach.
We wash hands and change clothes immediately. After that, it’s usually just a matter of rinsing paintbrushes so that we’re not constantly replacing them and putting everything else away.
Don’t forget to check back if you’re interested in seeing what we’re up to with our Ocean Commotion theme this month. And if you missed our preschool space post, you can check it out here.
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