Overated ‘Pinterest worthy’ crafting

“Kids! I have a surprise!”, I yell as my kids come running into the kitchen to find a table filled with paints, brushes, pumpkins, old t-shirts and a momma with a vision to construct some cute little painted pumpkin faces with her toddlers.

15 minutes later….

You know what I got?  A mess.

You know what I didn’t get? Those planned ‘cute little painted pumpkin faced crafts’.

It’s fine. You guys, my kids weren’t interested in the pumpkins. They didn’t care about a meticulously designed pumpkin face. They wanted to make a mess. They wanted to create and imagine. They wanted to channel their inner Bob Ross and let their paintbrush move wherever and however they chose, with no regard to instructions, plans, or directions… and that’s ok.

Today’s blog post isn’t a long one, but it’s written as a reminder to all the parents who thrive on order and instructions, schedules and planned activities. I’m totally one of those parents. My type A personality yearns for organization, a clean house, and a darn good planner, but I live in chaos remember? Controlled messy chaos… and if you have young kids (whether they’re yours, your grandkids, whoever), I imagine you can relate.

Toddlers are crazy, you know? They don’t care about sitting still. They don’t want to follow step-by-step instructions. They aren’t concerned about making pretty pinterest-worthy crafts. Sometimes, we just need the reminder to let our little kids be little kids; the reminder to follow their lead, despite our planned expectations; and the reminder to let them be creative and imaginative, even though we know a mess may likely follow. There’s a time and place for teaching lessons, following instructions, sitting quietly, and maintaining order…but let us remember the importance of creating a time and place for a little controlled chaos too.

…like painting beyond the pumpkin, because the un-planned craft will allow for more freedom, creativity, and originality anyway.

… or mixing playdough colors, because play-doh is cheap and it might even lead to a lesson on creating primary and secondary colors.

… or jumping in the mud, because the washing machine will probably take care of the dirty clothes.

… or going beyond the sidewalk and coloring the trees or play house with chalk, because the hose or the rain will wash it off later.

My point? Kids are only kids for a short while. Toddlers aren’t wired to ALWAYS sit still, follow instructions, take turns, keep quiet, or stay clean.

They need movement. They need messy. They need creativity. They need the freedom to explore the world with every part of their being.

Happy crafting, friends. Here’s to more ‘pinterest-worthy’ fails and creative messy chaos!

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