22 January 2018

Guest Post: How to minimise clean up time after crafting with kids

My girls love painting and craft, but if there's one thing I can't stand its the cleaning up after it. When they were little we crafted a lot, so I'd use to find glitter, pom poms, bits of paper, sparkly sequins, stickers, glue and pipe cleaners scattered all over the floor and table. Nowadays, we don't craft as much as paint, but the girls still need to be reminded to clean up after themselves.

This week I have a guest post which includes some handy tips on how to minimise the cleaning up time after a crafting session with kids. 

Today's post was written by Sophia Evans, a mother of two little girls who just love to craft. Sophia truly believes that it is important to inspire kids to craft and has plenty of experience when it comes to crafting with her small family. Not only is she a busy Mum, she's also the owner of Tidy Cleaners London.

Take it away Sophia!

Whether it's painting or making animals from paper, crafting is a favourite activity of every child, especially when it is shared. During that time, kids give rein to their fancy and create a variety of amusing pictures, objects and other interesting things. Seeing the results of their own efforts gives a sense of accomplishment to every child. For this reason, parents should regularly craft with their kids. However, this educational activity can sometimes turn into a huge mess. Kids quickly lose interest and if not observed may turn the crafting area into a battlefield or another imaginary scene.

The good news is that mess-free crafting with kids is possible and here is how to achieve it!

Set up a crafting area

Whether your kids will be crafting on the kitchen table or on the floor, make sure that the working place is isolated and properly organised. Start with removing any unnecessary items or objects that can accidentally become part of the crafting session. Put all books, remote controls, electronic devices away and lay a big old sheeting on the floor. If you choose to use the table, cover it with a tablecloth and lay nylon or some old sheets on the chairs as well.


Crafting is certainly an activity that can leave your child’s clothing stained, even if you use washable supplies. For this reason, your kids should be wearing an old home clothing or apron. In this way, rather than observing them constantly, you will be able to leave them to enjoy their time. In the end of the crafting session, simply change the clothes of your kids and load the dirty ones in the washing machine.


While your kids are having a nice time, keep a clean wet cloth near and when you notice any dirty places, clean them. If there are any containers with water, check if the area around them is wet. It will be helpful also to remove any empty vessels right away, so they don’t appear accidentally on the floor. 

Keep all supplies conveniently close

Organise the crafting materials in such a way that your kids can easily reach them. The closer the containers, the less possibility for sprinkles and spilt liquid on the floor. Your kids should be comfortable while crafting, otherwise, they will move too much, which may lead to accidents.

Navigate your kids

If your kids don’t have experience with this crafting activity, they will probably make the tablecloth dirty or drop some materials on the floor. Be patient and demonstrate how they should be working. If necessary navigate their hand but don’t tell them to be careful. Crafting is a great opportunity for children to acquire new skills. 

Keep the crafting session short

This is essential. If kids are crafting too much they will lose interest and start amusing themselves by playing tag or other similar games. As you want the other areas of your home to remain free of sticky fingers and colourful sprinkles, keep the crafting session short and end it before the kids get bored. Once you wash their hands, the crafting corner is forbidden to enter. Take your time alone and remove the sheeting and the tablecloth. After that, wipe the table, mop the floor and bring all items to their place.

Next time when your kids are exploring their creativity, do yourself a favour and apply these simple routines. They will help you spend valuable time with your children and minimise the time you spent cleaning after the crafting session.

Wow, thanks Sophia they are great tips! If you are looking for some craft activities for during the holidays, check out the Craft Ideas section of the blog.


  1. Thank you Julie and Sophia! Timely and practical post for our household!

    SSG xxx

  2. I was someone who taught K-2 for a long time so I got myself a routine with newspapers on desks, then kids in covers of some kind (I would have a supply of old shirts to go over clothes) and I used egg cartons for the paint. It meant a much easier clean up of wrapping it all in paper. When the grandkids wanted to paint we had a plastic wipeable cloth, art smocks and we kept the mess on the table in our outdoors room. One of my granddaughters recently visited here and wanted to paint again. Alas, this house is not friendly to kid art! Thank you for linking up for #lifethisweek 4/52. Next Week is the FIRST photo-centred prompt (no topic!) called #ShareYourSnaps. Looking forward to seeing everyone's photos every 5th week this year!

    1. Thanks Denyse, I don't think much has changed since you taught at school. From what I've seen in the classroom when I've helped out with my daughter's class they don't seem to wear art smocks anymore, or lay newspaper down...I guess it takes up time, but it can be frustrating when they come home with paint on their uniforms :)


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