Messy Play

We set up a make shift slime factory in our basement last weekend and made a ton of slime together. My daughter loves to play with slime and doesn’t mind leading a slime making workshop for her brothers, complete with setup before and clean up afterwards (with a bit of help from me). And I get to catch a few mins break from parenting to bury my nose into a book while she does this 🙂 It’s a win-win for everyone and worth spending a bit of money on gathering the supplies. .

Let’s talk messy play…A lot of people I know don’t want their kids to bring messy play into their homes. They are often surprised when I tell them that I let my kids make slime or make play doh or play with water beads inside my house. I understand their concerns about making more work for themselves, but I feel that messy play is a basic need for children. It’s not always possible to go outdoors for this, especially in the area where I live in. In our home, we have a designated area for messy activities like this one. I cover a portion of my basement floor with an extra large, heavy duty tarp where my kids can explore their creativity freely on bad weather days. .

As a parent, I have learned that setting up my kids for success in daily life is very important. Considering their needs and proactively making accommodations to allow them to fulfill their needs reduces a lot of parenting struggles and fosters a deeper parent-child connection. If I am always nagging them about making messes and/or not giving them opportunities to explore their creativity for the fear of making my home messy, then I am bound to run into more power struggles with them. On the other hand, if I am able to respect their need for messy play and proactively provide opportunities for indulging in it, then they are more likely to listen to me when I actually need to enforce a non-negotiable limit (mostly related to their safety). I strongly feel that respect between a parent and a child needs to be mutual. When children feel heard, seen, accepted, respected and loved, they are more motivated internally to follow the rules that need to be followed and to extend a similar treatment to other people in their lives 🙏🏼

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