Monday, March 2, 2015

Stress-free Spaces: Mess Management

This is the first in a series of posts that I like to call Stree Free Spaces. This is how we make Mommying and teaching a bit easier during the day. 
Did I just hear a collective Mommy sized groan? Play dough. Play-Doh. Whatever. No matter what you call it, you and I know the truth. More of it ends up on the table, floor, or ground into the grout or carpet than you ever imagined possible. It's like those tiny dough crumbs multiplied and conveniently nestled their way into the nooks and crannies around and under your table (and somehow on little rear ends), only to be overlooked until it's too late.
 How about this little friend?

There aren't any short visits from this delightful container of shimmery fun. A few shakes and you've got a serious situation on your hands.

I know quite a few Mommies that have outlawed one or both completely. Consider them banished. Not me! It's not that I am completely relaxed about messes either. I like it clean and tidy.
So, what's a Mommy to do? I think somehow we can marry the idea of sparkly fun and livable spaces. How can we maintain stress-free spaces and use glitter or Play-doh at the same time?

 I would like to introduce you to my most used, dishwasher-safe, glitter containing, multi-use item. Ready?

Lunch trays, I. Love. Them. So. Much.
They are 14.5" x 10.75" are craft containing goodness. You can stack 'em.
 They come in 5 colors for (right now) $10.99.

And you can place each separate activity on a different tray for mess-contained-fun-time. Now you don't have to run and hide from the glitter section at the craft store worry! 

A few recommendations:
*Tape off a few holes from the glitter shakers! Lessens the flow and prevents alllll that glitter from coming out at one time.
*Teach your child how to shake the container. Yes, even the little ones. Shake low and go. Shake up high and Mommy will cry.
*You will still manage to find some stowaway glitter on your child's scalp, in their ear, or some other random place. It is the way of glitter. But it will be less with the trays. Way less. So. much. less.
*The trays double as a building board for playdough creations. Crumbs are contained (as long as they aren't walking around with it). Washes easily in the sink/dishwasher. Win-win.

Frugal tip: If you aren't ready to purchase the trays, try using rimmed baking sheets. You can even pick them up at a dollar store.

So, what are you waiting for??? Let the sparkly fun begin!

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