crafts

Crayola and Kids Crafts: Are You a Mom Who Says “Yes” to Mess?

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How Crayola makes creativity fun and easy to clean.

I remember when my kids were toddlers. As a new mom, I was really excited to bust out the finger paints and Play Doh. After all, these were things my mom would let us play for hours. I had such positive memories from my childhood creating purple and green hand prints on butcher paper and molding clay into various shapes that I wanted the same for my kids.

I bought all the supplies, even cute little smocks, and let my kids loose. And wow! What a mess! I had to immediately bathe my boys after their finger painting foree and years later, I still feel like I'm cleaning up the little bits of Play Doh that worked its way into the tiniest nooks and crannies in our kitchen.

What I learned quickly? Fun can be messy. Creativity, before it reaches its final product, can be chaotic. But regardless of the aftermath, investing in this type of play with my children was always worth it.

Getting kids out of their comfort zones early in life teaches them to explore, ask questions, think differently, problem solve, and come up with creative ideas and solutions. In other words, saying "yes" to mess actually helps kids in their development.

At Toy Fair this past week, I came across another product that would require me to say "yes" to mess—Crayola's Washable Color Bubbles. I immeditately asked if I could blow some, knowing if I got any on my skin, I'd need to wash up. Why? Because in that single New York minute, I could be an uninhibited kid again and blow bubbles, but not only bubbles, but vibrant purple, green, and orange bubbles that ran the risk of making me, heaven forbid, wash my hands.

The bigger risk with these is that the colors can get on clothes. So, if you're like me—a mom who says yes to mess—make sure you take the kids outdoors before the bubble blowing fun begins, and if possible, have them wear older clothes or t-shirts, and make sure to wash the clothes according to the directions on the package. The most fun option I've heard? Do this as a summer activity, have the kids wear their swims suits, and after they are done creating a colorful collage on their hands or bodies, have them run through the sprinklers.

Are you a mom who says "yes" to mess? Why or why not? What's your favorite messy craft project to work on with your kids?

Note: This is not an official product review. I tested the bubbles at Toy Fair, but have not purchased the product or had my kids play with it. Stay tuned this summer for part two, when I take the kids outdoors for some creative, colorful, and messy fun!

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All photos in this post and slide show were used with permission from Jen Tilley. Check her awesome food photos out at How To: Simplify.

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An active part of the Mom It Forward team, Jyl primarily writes about parenting, social good, and all things travel related. In a past life, Jyl was an award-winning copywriter and designer of corporate training programs for Fortune 100 companies. Offline, Jyl is married to @TroyPattee; a mom to two teen boys and a beagle named #Hashtag; loves large amounts of cheese, dancing, and traveling; and lives in the beautiful Rocky Mountains. Topping her bucket list is the goal to visit 50 countries by the time she's 50.

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