Monday, August 26, 2013

FAMILY FUN MONTH: Plan a "Messy Party" by Sandy Toes and Popsicles

In celebration of August being Family Fun Month, the Center is delighted to share stories by some of Orange County’s favorite family bloggers. 

By Jill Parkin of Sandy Toes and Popsicles

Photo by Jill Parkin 
With summer ending and school starting soon, many families are scrambling to get the last bit of summer fun in before summer vacation ends and school starts. That goes for our family as well. To be honest, I wouldn't mind summer lasting all year long. I love having the kids home and exploring all of what Orange County offers, especially the beaches and sunshine.

There are many ways to expose your child to the arts and being creative. Learning how to express themselves through creative play is one way I do this. Letting my kids be creative and free with their movements and expression is great for their imaginations and for releasing any frustrations and anxiety.

One of our summer family traditions does just that. We have a "Messy Party" each year to celebrate the end of summer and back-to-school. We invite the kid's school friends over for an afternoon of messy fun, where the kids have ice cream sundaes and shaving cream fights. What? Doesn't that make a total mess!? Of course it does... and that is the entire point of having a "Messy Party." The main goal of this party is to allow the kids to be free and creative, along with helping them release the anxiety of starting a new school year.

Photo by Jill Parkin 
Messy play allows kids to express themselves in ways that they usually can't. It's not everyday that you can cover your body in shaving cream and run around outside acting silly. We love to turn the music up very loud and dance around the grass, singing at the top of our lungs. 

Photo by Jill Parkin 
I love seeing how creative the kids get, making funny shaving cream costumes and make believe superhero games. You get to see a whole different side of your children. 

Photo by Jill Parkin 

And laughter. There will be a lot of it. It is awesome to see the pure happiness exude out of those kiddies faces. The best joy a parent can have. 

Photo by Jill Parkin 
At the end of the party, be prepared for a big mess. It's gonna happen, so just embrace it. However, you will be amazed that the mess can quickly disappear with the spray of the hose. As long as the kids do not enter your house, the mess is fairly easy to clean up. Make sure to lay ground rules ahead of time so the kids know how far they can run and where they are and aren't allowed to spray shaving cream. It's not a good idea for them to spray it farther than your hose can reach...or in the neighbors’ yards. 

A "Messy Party" is so much fun, and an activity that helps the bitterness of summer ending just a little bit sweeter. 

Photo by Jill Parkin 

Jill Parkin is the editor of one of Orange County's favorite lifestyle blogs, Sandy Toes & Popsicles, where she shares her family's adventures in Southern California, recipes, crafts and family fun ideas.

Keep the family fun going in September when ANYTHING GOES sails to Segerstrom Center!

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Unknown said...

such a fun idea! Hosting it outside is so perfect too - just hose 'em down.

Tanya said...

What a fun party idea. I think I'll have one of my own, too. :)

Linsey Knerl said...

Adorable idea! Every day is messy day at our house, but I love the idea of controlled chaos :)

Sharon Garofalow said...

OMG!!! What a fun idea! My kids would love this!

Unknown said...

Great idea! I think I may have to try that!