I know many parents who don’t allow their children to play with certain toys or do certain craft works at home because they simply fear the tidying up process afterwards.
A part the fact that certain things just come with the package of being parent (i.e. diapers, sleepless nights etc.), children just need to make multiple experiences while playing, modelling clay, drawing etc.: they need to be able to make a mess in order to learn.
For me it was always clear that from a very early age on, they can also be involved in the tidying up process. It’s part of the whole experience: you set up the table etc. together, do the activity and then put back the things where they’re supposed to be.
Of course, it’s up to us parents to teach them this. At daycare and school they already learn it so, why shouldn’t they be able to do this at home too?
My dear friend Basma Alrawi, mother of four and brilliant interior designer, just published a post on her site about how to allow our children to have fun while playing and then tidying up: Fun within order… Don’t miss it!