A pile of dirt can entertain my preschooler for hours, and my second-grader would rather paint with her hands than use a brush. Sometimes I find strange science experiments in the freezer or cups of soapy water lining my children's dressers. What is it about making a mess that's so much fun? I love it when my kids are creative and happy and thinking outside the box. But, it's not as fun if it means hours of cleanup, which is left mostly to Mom.
So I'm all about looking for other places for my kids to get dirty. Here are some spots we found to be delightfully messy.
There's goop and paint and bubbles, and usually frosting and sprinkles. Staying neat and clean is not an option.
Smocks (provided when you walk in the door) are a must at this kids' paradise where messes are encouraged. The inside of the building looks like a gigantic science experiment, with aluminum tubes, pipes and gadgets everywhere. From science and music to culinary experiments and art, Make-A-Messterpiece encourages kids to get creative and to use all their senses.
On a recent visit, my kids (8 and 4), their hands covered in sticky blue gunk, shockingly requested "to get clean." We had just concocted a special slime, and they had gleefully squished and mushed the mixture, until they apparently had enough. Luckily there are plenty of sinks as well as paper towels and hand sanitizer. Before the gooey slime incident, my kids created bubble paintings in the Bubbleology department, decorated ice cream cones, and pounded on drums to splatter paint on walls. They sculpted playdough, created foam hats, and finger-painted on butcher block paper.
Though the total experience package can be pricey ($22 per kid), kids still can have fun and make a mess for the $10 admission fee, which doesn't include the extra hands-on activities. ($5 for each extra activity)