Messy Memories

18 08 2007

In our home we try to make lots of “messy memories”. These aren’t the normal memories you daily make with your children like reading stories or playing catch….these are those ones that make a little mess. Now I will be honest, I am usually the one that is reluctant to making a little mess. But with a little practice I have seen the great effects of “messy memories”.

An all time favorite messy memory with toddlers is making cookies…better yet, decorating them afterwards. This is a great one to start with you if you have never gotten really messy with your children. Let me reassure you that after the dishes are done and table, floor, counters and cupboards are clean… would have really enjoyed yourself. The memories that you made will be long remembered. You won’t remember the work that went into the clean up but will remember the smiles, laughter and giggles that came from it.

I truly believe that messy memories are remembered by children far more than regular memories, maybe because they know that it took a little more work on the mom and dad or because kids crave being able to express themselves without a lot of rules.

Here are some fun ones that we have enjoyed that you may as well……

1. Cookies…Already mentioned above

2. Movie night…bring out all those blankets and pillows and snuggle on the floor and watch a fun movie together…better yet combine with #3.

3. Pizza night. I am not talking about ordering I am talking about making it. Now, this was hard for me because I am the cook in the house and I know how much cheese, sauce etc. goes on a pizza, but it is so much more fun to let them do their own. It may not look yummy to you, but believe me your child will eat it because they go to do their own. With more than one chid give them their own personal size and put the toppings in bowls and let them go on….who says the sauce has to go on first?

4. Tent making. It is always fun to make a tent and let the kids play. This can get messy, but the kids love taking apart the couches and having FUN. This is a great place to do your reading time with your children, bring out the flashlights and fun.

5. Craft time. I love to do crafts with my children, many of you that know me know this already. It is great to get out the paint, glue and random things and let them glue, cut, paint and paste their way to lots of exploring.

6. Ice Cream Sunday night. Get a 1/2 gallon of ice cream and lots of toppings. Let your children decorate their ice cream Sunday‚Äôs anyway they want. We did this with some friends one time and Isaac still takes about the time he had lots of “stuff on his ice cream”. He loved making the Sunday and best of all, he loved to EAT it.

7. Beach day! Put on your swimsuits, make a lunch and get ready for some fun. Fill the bathtub with some water; bring out the sand toys and them swim till their hearts content. Then lay out a blanket and enjoy a picnic lunch. This is GREAT in the winter and you need something to help wear them out. My kids love to pretend we are at the pool in the middle or January.

I think I gave you a great start to some Messy Memories. Now, don’t think we get messy everyday or even every week in our home! But I have made more of an effort this past year and I want to encourage you to do the same. Have FUN!