Let Them Make Mess

Art Journaling, Mixed Media, Altered Book, Book of Days,

I love how I am learning to express and harness life through my Book of Days*.

A recent heated discussion with James led me to sit down and play. I got out my new Twinkling H20’s, some sports tape (you know, for when you tape up injuries), punchinella, some crayons and my hair dryer and went crazy. Melting crayons is FUN.

It all started the very first day of James’ month long (loooonnggg) break between jobs.

“Can’t you do something else?” He asked my grumpy Pixie. And, though he had valid reasons to request a break in all things art and craft (the mess), I had to explain that an artless Kahlei is a hard-to-deal-with Kahlei. When she’s cranky, that’s how she works through. When she’s happy, it’s how she records it. When she’s upset, it’s how she processes.

So, sometimes there’s paint on her hands, or maybe on the floor and we’ve had too many glitter explosions than I care to count recently, but letting her play with paint and glue means we don’t have a melt-down-at-the-smallest-thing screaming banshee on our hands.

Art Journal, Mixed Media, Make Mess, Book of Days

Even when I am sweeping up glitter for the fiftieth time (and possibly grumbling under my breath about art, craft and all things glittery) I do not seriously entertain the idea of restricting access to our craft supplies. With the exception of scissors, these days. I can mop, sweep and scrub – not happily, granted, but mess can be dealt with.

Mess does not outweigh the joy I see them having or what they’re learning through playing and experimenting.

I have seen the changes since making our supplies available to them at any time and now that I know how much I am getting from the process of art journaling, there is no way I could take that away from them.

Art Journal, Make Mess, Art Journaling, Book of Days, Altered Book

Of course, I understand that James isn’t a fan of mess, in fact I understand more than I might seem to. My father was much the same. Or worse. And I don’t like for him to be upset as they create, but I do firmly believe that I’m making the right decision. The mess will wait, my babes are growing too quickly!

Being a child is all about making a mess and learning and playing and having fun. And I am a Stay at Home Mum, not a Stay at Home Cleaner, my priorities are clearly stated in my job description.

As we go on we are teaching them to clean up their mess and look after the supplies, all very important lessons and all part of letting them get in there and get their hands dirty in the first place.

Art Journal, Art Journaling, Making Mess, Altered Book

Apart from all that, both the girls and Jasper are quite passionate about it and I do not believe in getting in the way of that. We might have a little artiste on our hands. The next great thing. You just never know.

I expect this won’t be the only thing James and I bump heads about as we spend the next few weeks together, but at least he inspires me to art, experiment and make mess!

Art Journaling, Art Journal, Book of Days, Altered Book, Mixed Media

Tell me, do you let your kids make mess?
How do you feel about arts and crafts?

* This is an affiliate link, if you purchase via this link I get paid. I promote this because I believe in it.


  1. I hate mess but I am getting better and better at relaxing about it and allowing my kids to enjoy themselves. It’s hard to let go though. It helps to see the joy on their faces when they create a masterpiece out of a cardboard box, sticky tape, ripped up mail and kitchen utensils πŸ˜‰

  2. You’re very brave to allow all that craft. I used to have a love/hate relationship with it as my older two would make such a mess, especially with glitter and playdough. Those two crafty staples would work their way into unimaginable places.

  3. I’m defintely up for letting my 2yoD make “physical” mistakes (tripping over, running into doorways, crashing her scooter into the hedge) bu I don’t know how brave I would be with mistakes using glitter, paint and playdough.

  4. i don’t mind craft so long as it stays in one spot lol. my 2 yr old likes to paint and walk around with paint and get paint everywhere. but i never want to not let them do it

  5. I can be a bit uptight about the crafty mess, but this post is really inspiring me. I love that your little Pixie uses the art to process stuff. HOw wonderful for her to have that outlet and for you to recognise and honour it. My little girl loves to draw, as our walls and floors will attest to. Maybe I should loosen the reins a little when it comes to the glue and other mediums. πŸ™‚

  6. I like to deal with mess laterally and make it a game for everyone to enjoy as much as making it!
    Crafts are an essential part of growing up… just keep playdough at daycare! LOL!

  7. I hate mess, but am slowly learning to let go (very slowly) and just enjoy the moment.

  8. Having twin boy, I have resorted that life will be messy. We did some painting in the backyard a little while ago and I totally agree that the mess doesn’t outweigh the joy that they’re having. I actually love watching their little fingers and hands get all grubby πŸ™‚ x

  9. Yes. I let my kids make mess.

    It is usually just cleaned up with the rest of the day.

    Summer time is best though, then I lay it all out on the ground and the rain can wash it away another day.

  10. I love this! And heck yes it’s probably annoying as all hell, but let them make mess. For sure. I’m sure James gets that more than he lets on too.

  11. Yes, I do let them make a mess, but…they normally do it outside so that I don’t have to fret and clean up. I guess it’s slightly easier for me now because my kids are older and can clean up afterwards. πŸ™‚

  12. As a scrapbooker, I know all too well the mess that craft can make. You should see my dining table at the moment! My kids love doing craft, and there is always something on the go. Eme loves playing in my stash, and steals every single pen, texta and pencil I own. Seth’s favourite is drawing. I just let them go for it. I love seeing them getting creative.

    btw…they say that glitter is the herpes of the craft world…once you get it, you can’t get rid of it! lol.

  13. Actually no matter if someone doesn’t understand after that its up to other viewers that they will help,
    so here it takes place.


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