One Big Mess

It’s a sunny, summer Monday morning and the kids are arriving.  Some of the little ones are still sleepy-eyed, others hold on to their mother’s hand, and one proudly shows off his Spiderman sandals as they make their way into the Children’s Habitat. They’ve all come to make a mess. After all, it’s Messy Monday.

For five Monday’s during the summer, the kids come to hear a story, take a nature walk and make a mess. In discovery mode as we walk a trail, I hear shouts of excitement for each new find.  “I found this!” exclaims a little girl picking up a dried sweet gum ball while other kids hover for a closer look.  “See what I found,” states another child as he hands off an acorn.  Into our bucket go leaves, seed balls, acorns and more.  Everyone is looking a little closer at the things around us. 

We make our way back to a grassy area set up with the Messy Monday activity.  Today we’re using shaving cream and paint to create unique pieces of art.  The shaving cream smells good and feels squishy.  The paint makes things pretty.  Some of the kids remember a previous Messy Monday mixing yellow and blue paint to make…”green,” shouts a child at the end of the table. 

Their hands are in the shaving cream.  Paint is mixed in.  It’s getting messy as they push paper on top of the shaving cream, peel it off and scrape it down.  The table is now one big mess but the artwork revealed is magical.  The ooohs and aaahs can be heard from the kids as they put more paper into the shaving cream.  “Look at this one,” I hear as one child turns to show his mother.  He has multi-colored shaving cream halfway up his arms.

As things calm, the smell of shaving cream is still in the air.  The artwork gets hung to dry, the kids wash off in a pool of cool water, the mothers relax on the grass as other children run around.  Another summer Messy Monday comes to a close.