GUEST POST: 5 Clever Ways To Avoid Toddler’s Mess

Love to do arts and crafts with your toddler but hate the mess? Check out these 5 clever ways to avoid them while still encouraging creativity.

Our guest author for today is Harry Carr. Harry is currently working in a small company which is situated in London and she loves to write about organizing and cleaning topics such as this one that she wrote for us.

There are plenty of ways to keep your toddler entertained with creating art but most of them end up with a messy room which needs professional cleaning. These 5 clever ways to avoid toddler’s mess will save you time, efforts and ensure fun time for your kids. Apply them to ensure the hygienic and neat condition of your home.

You can protect some of the pieces of furniture and floors with suitable coverings and newspapers but the most important things are the materials for art you give your toddler to use and play with.

You can supply your toddler with various tools and materials for drawing, art time and playing which will let you clean his/her room easier. These are scissors, construction paper, tape, strings. For drawing and painting, choose and buy washable markers and crayons. The paint your toddler uses should be washable which will let you clean the mess and splatters from the place easier later. The glue you give your toddler better be in a tube than in a bottle which is easier for applying. Glue sticks are the most suitable for art projects as they are safer.

Squish Paint

squish paint example

Marble worktops are appropriate for your toddler to paint and draw on which will let him/her be entertained for hours and you won’t have problems with the cleaning of the surface later. Fill several plastic bottles with baby oil and a few colours of water-soluble paint, each colour in a separate plastic container – bottle or cup. You can sprinkle some glitter inside the paint to make it more attractive. Then, just let your toddler squash the paint with fingers on the marble surface creating art. This should be easy for cleaning after the painting is completed. Take photos of the end project before cleaning the surfaces.

Use Dot Art To Create Fun Projects

dot art example

You may have those colourful stickers in your home which instead of collecting dust can be re-purposed and used to play by your toddler. Let him/her create some art project using only the dots. You can also apply them as a means to teach your toddler letters and numbers in case he/she shows interest at that age. This way you can provide a mess-free play with learning that won’t result in a whole bunch of areas left dirty.

Make A Whole Village Of Cardboard Tubes And Patterned Tape

cardboard village example

If you have cardboard tubes, you can give them to your toddler to use as the base of the village. The patterned taped is suitable to be applied for decorating and making the village colourful. This play develops qualities like precision, imagination and creativity. As an added bonus, it doesn’t end up in a complete mess. So use it whenever your toddler wants to draw or play.

Creating A Collage

collage example

For this “project” you need contact paper which is sticky-backed, paper scraps, magazine pictures, sequins, feathers and other lightweight and flat items. Help your toddler do the collage with the sticky-backed paper and items you have gathered for the project. After completing it “together” seal the project with a strip of contact paper. Easy, fun and without stains, paint or spillages left for cleaning.

Create Art Projects With Sandpaper And Yarn

sandpaper and yarn art project example

Check your garage for sandpaper leftovers and use them to re-purpose for your toddler’s projects. The yarn will stick to the sandpaper magically. By using various yarn “colours” your toddler can make various art projects. The best pieces of art pin on a cork board and display in his/her room.

If you use the presented above methods for creating art without mess, you will let your toddler have fun, be creative and develop important qualities which will be needed when he/she grows up. Use the ideas and tips offered here to protect the rooms in your home from getting dirty and filled with splatters. You will save yourself much efforts and time.

profile of Harry Carr

Harry is a working mom from London. She runs a small cleaning company called House Cleaners Chiswick. She writes home improvement articles for a couple of blogs.

I love doing arts and crafts with my kids especially since I can see that they enjoy it but I hate cleaning up afterwards. I would always do our arts and crafts activities outside and I have to make sure to get them washable paints, colors, and markers just to make cleaning up easier for me; but that’s the most creative idea I could think of (Lol! I know I am not that creative). So I really loved this article because it gives us brilliant ways to get creative with our kids while also avoiding mess.

We hope that you liked this post and that you found it helpful. Let us know what you think below in the comments. You know I always love to hear from you.

If you’re interested in guest posting for One Awesome Momma, let me know by filling out the Contact Us form.

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Kisses, Belle - blog post signature

  • Elizabeth @ CrazyBusyHappyLife

    I love the baby oil and pain idea. I’ve never heard of that before. Will try it with the kiddos the next time we do crafts.

  • Really cool. I think the village of boxes will be right up our little one’s alley

  • loveyoumoretoo

    Such awesome ideas! I am not a mom, but I am a school counselor and wok with kindergarteners. 🙂

  • My daughter is 10 months old and one of my fave “art” projects to do with her is to make edible paint from items in the kitchen. She has a blast!

    • Thank you for sharing this with us!

  • These are fantastic projects!! I love the baby oil and paint idea. I’m so impressed by that amazing cardboard city!!

  • I love these ideas! Still stunned by the marble/paint one! We always make use of our cardboard though! As a military family we are never short on those! We make characters, houses, cars, you name it! Not sure why we buy toys haha

    • Haha! That sounds awesome! Thank you!

  • Great Ideas! Boxes are always a big hit in our house.

  • THEse look like awesome ideas! Can’t wait to try out a few with my daughter.

  • Such great ideas here! I’m saving this for when my little one is a toddler!

  • Such fun activities! We will have to try the box village with our little guy

  • KIm

    Why are boxes so much fun?? I love the little box town – my kids would be all over it!

    • I am not sure either. Even my kids will sometimes play with the boxes more than the toy inside it. Lol. Thank you!

  • Great ideas! I love letting the kids be creative, but I have to remind myself to chill and clean after the fun!

    • Haha! That’s so true! Thank you!

  • I have enough boxes in my garage already to build a huge village so that will be on our to-do list the next really cold day we have. And I agree…we like to do crafts together, but also hate the mess, so great tips!

    • That’s awesome! Thank you!

  • Meredith from Mommy in Leggings

    This is a great post! I love the idea of the cardboard boxes!!!

  • 21flavorsofsplendor

    These are some really cool ideas! My girls love making collages. Making a village out of cardboard seems like so much fun.

  • What cute ideas! I will need to try these out!
    Melanie
    http://www.adventure57.com

  • These are some,really cool ideas that I,will be sure to,try with my little ones. The sandpaper sounds fun 🙂

  • simplyburch

    Fantastic ideas!

  • twoboysonepup

    How cool! That cardboard village is intense, haha! They could literally make their own town!

  • These are awesome craft projects!!

  • All Babied Up

    Great ideas! 🙂

  • These are some awesome ideas! Messmaker should be my son’s middle name because he just loooves to destroy, haha! I’ve really been wanting to try the squish paint with him, I think he’d really enjoy it. Thanks for sharing <3

    • Thank you! My 2 kids love to destroy anything as well!

  • sticksandgiggles

    My son loves when we have a bunch of boxes and he gets to have his ‘clubhouse’. Anytime we have a bunch of boxes it definitely eleminates other messes

    • That’s awesome! Thank you!

  • I love these clever ideas, I’m all about anything that doesn’t involve a mess.

    • Haha! That’s so true! Thank you!

  • Those are such great ideas for little ones!
    I think any Mama with a toddler would enjoy these 🙂

    • That’s so true! Thank you!

  • What a great inspiration! Thank you for the ideas, I will try them with my little boy!

  • These are really cute toddler art ideas. The sandpaper is a great one, adds that sensory play fun.

  • I love the village! We are constantly getting Amazon boxes.

    • Same here with the Amazon boxes. Thank you!

  • I will try these with my twins! These is so fun.
    Thank you for sharing!

  • fivelittlebearsblog

    these are really great ideas! i have twin toddler so I’m always looking for mess free options.

  • These are some great ideas! Even my older kids tend to make messes lol

  • I usually use blocks to build cities and we even did the Great Wall of china but I love the idea of using boxes so it’s like they can play in the city.

    • That’s so cool! Thank you!

  • These are great ideas. I think some parents tend to shy away from the creative games because of the mess it entails. This is a good way to allow the kids to express their creativity while also making parents happy 🙂

  • i have so many cardboard boxes that making a village would be a fun idea! my kids aren’t quite old enough to do dot art, that may be a messier disaster for me than actual paint! i do like the idea of collages since my son loves to practice using his kiddy scissors! plus they would make adorable gifts for my in-laws!

    • Haha! That’s a good point. Thank you!

  • These are FANTASTIC ideas!! Thank you for this!! <3

  • These are great suggestions! I do regret that I didn’t allow my kids to do as many crafts as they would’ve liked when they were little because of the mess. Of course now they are old enough to clean up after themselves, so one of them is crafting literally all the time.

    • Awww! Well, at least now they can help you clean up. 🙂

  • These are beautiful creations. I am in love with the dot art myself. My neighbor is an artist who uses this method and the results are stunning.

    • That’s so cool! Thank you!

  • These are really awesome creations! I love seeing so much creativity! I definitely need to try this with my toddler when she gets a little older.

  • This is the best! I have a one year old and he is starting to get into EVERYTHING. I am constantly looking for ways to avoid his messes haha

    • Haha! Anything we can do to avoid it right? Thank you!

  • caseyp1110

    I love all these ideas, especially the yarn and sand paper…never thought of that!

  • I love these ideas! i really needed this

  • Heaven knows I could use a few less messes around here! These are some great ideas.

    • Haha! We all do! Thank you!

  • Ashly J

    Great idea! Love this!

  • Amber

    I taught early childhood education for many years and these are all ideas I could have employed in my classroom. Giving children the freedom to explore without fear of “making a mess” is so important for their sensory development, bravo mom!

    • That’s so true! Thank you!

  • Such clever ideas for sure! I just expected there to always be a mess haha! Thanks for sharing!

    • Haha! I guess somehow there will always be mess. Thank you!

  • I am so thankful to not have toddlers any more. A plastic shower curtain was my mess-less trick. I put it under them.

    • Haha! I use garbage bag. 🙂 Thank you!

  • These are all really great mess free options. I am very OCD and when it comes to playtime I was very particular when it came to getting messy!

  • Debra

    I love making the village out of boxes my kids would think that was so fun – sometimes we try with boxes we get from amazon.

    • I have yet to try that with my kids. Thank you!

  • These are amazing. I wish I would have had these ideas when my son was younger. He’s 12 now but we may still enjoy some of these, they come out so cool looking ; )

  • So adorable and so many fun ideas!

  • I love the look of the dot art and I’m not even a toddler lol.

  • I do not have any kids of my own as yet. But I can wait to try the collage.

    • I haven’t tried that one with my kids yet but I’m sure it’s going to be fun.

  • I agree, we can always have fun with out kids without having to sacrifice cleanliness. These are awesome ideas for activities! It will also keep them busy for hours.

  • These are great ideas! I’m going to keep them in mind for when my goddaughter comes to visit 🙂

  • Wow, such lovely, creative, fun ways to engage the child, avoiding the mess. Love that the activities are enriching and aid overall development of the child!

  • Great ideas! I love doing crafts with my kids but hate the mess afterward. I’m definitely going to give some of these a try!

    • Same here! Thank you!

  • so many creative ideas but I just love the village made of boxes! My kids would just love that!

  • There are some really fun projects and activities in here! Toddler life is soooo messy, so I love that most of these don’t use paint!

    • That is so true! Thank you!

  • reesann723

    Great ideas! It took me until my 2nd kid to realize I need to let go of being OCD about no messes and just give in and adapt to the kids!

    • Haha! Maybe I’m almost there. Thank you!

  • These are great ideas!! Definitely want to try the paint, sparkles, and baby oil idea. So fun!

    • I hope you like it! Thank you!

  • Very nice post with some very helpful tips. I like this a lot. xx

  • Very cool. Nice to hear your strategies. 🙂

  • Card board villages are the best! Never thought of yarn and sandpaper such a cool idea!

  • Really great ideas. Toddlers can sure make a mess even without trying I find so any way to avoid that I’m all for!

  • I don’t have any children but when my little brother and sister were toddlers there was so much mess in our house! Great tips 🙂

  • amandahrosson

    Wow, these are such fun ideas!! I love the sandpaper and yarn project – so clever!!

  • I thin my four year old would love so many of those projects. She’s a total crafter and I always need new ideas to help keep her engaged!

    • I hope she does! Thank you!

  • Somehow I think my niece would still make a mess. She’s a diva and a complete disaster. Maybe her brother would be a better artist in the making. He is much neater.

    • Haha! I honestly think that all kids are going to be messy. 🙂

  • Some great ideas for keeping toddlers entertained but also for keeping your house looking good! Its so important for them to have fun and be creative, but you don’t want to be stressing about the mess so this is perfect.

  • This post is jam packed with great ideas for toddler fun. My son would absolutely love each if these projects. Thanks for a great post!

  • toughcookiemommy

    It’s amazing how much mess such little people can make. These are great ways to deal with those inquisitive years.

    • They really are! Thank you!

  • Stephanie

    These are some really great ideas!!!

  • Irina

    Harry sounds absolutely amazing. I love these ideas. The dot craft is one we have not done with my children. What a fun a beautiful project. Perfect for a rainy day.

    • I agree with what you said about Harry. Thank you!

  • Robin Rue

    These are all such great ideas! Toddler messes can definitely be the worst kind.

    • Thank you! They really are!

  • There are so many great ideas. I would love to try some of these eventually. I know a lot of times mommas don’t want to do arts and crafts for fear of a big ol’ mess afterward!

    • Lol! That is so true! Thank you!

  • Harry Carr

    Wow! I am extremely happy that you enjoyed the post. Thank you to everyone for your kind words. Also, I would like to express my gratitude and appreciation to Belle for giving me the opportunity to share this post with you <3

    • Thank you, Harry! It has been a pleasure working with you!

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