Making messes is what kids do best. As a parent, sometimes the last thing you need is another mess to clean up. Yet, we know hands-on activities, such as cooking, helping with the chores, painting, playing with play dough, and coloring, are important to a child’s cognitive and imaginative development. In addition, such activities are great for making memories.

Kids want to be like their parents; therefore, they love to mimic us pushing a lawn mower or cooking in the kitchen. Certainly there are some things little kids cannot help us with until they are older, but allowing them to help sweep, even though they leave a trail behind, empowers them and it creates a memory.

Those memories can be good ones or they can be bad ones. Water spilt, while helping you do the dishes, can be cleaned up. Flour all over you, the dog, and the house can be cleaned up. Give them a well of memories they can look back on. Say to yourself, “This is not a mess; it is a memory.”