Dealing with Muddy Kids

Spring is around the corner. It has gotten a little warmer and the snow is melting. My cooped up kids and I are ecstatic. We will have more time outside. However, after a rather difficult and snowy winter, all you can see outside is mud, mud, and more mud. So, how do you deal with the mud?

Keep your kids inside. Is this even possible? Not at my house. However, in the scheme of things, what is another few days inside the house when you have been cooped up for weeks this winter? For some people, keeping your children inside is the only way to deal with the mud.

If you are tempted to keep your children inside, you might want to think about how happy your children are when they are outside. Many children love to play in the mud. You can just hear them laughing and carrying on. It is healthy to be outside, get dirty, and have some fun.

If you do let your children out, have a place where the muddy coats, boots, etc are allowed. I have one room (my sun room) which is completely dirty. On the floor are all of my children's boots, hats, coats, and other muddy things. This keeps them from being spread all over my house.

Do not allow children in the house unless they have taken off their boots, coats, socks, and clothes. I make sure that my children undress in my sunroom. I even take off their wet and dirty socks. Those will still leave dirty footprints through the house. I also make them take off their pants so that the mud can't fall off and land on the floor.

Do not be afraid to give your children a lot of baths. After undressing, my children know to head right to the bathroom. If they are that dirty, a few minutes playing in the tub should wash off most of the grime. Even without soap, which can dry their skin, they seem to clean up nicely.

Keep baby wipes handy. As a mother, baby wipes are my favorite things. I use them for everything. I make sure that I have a pack handy in my sunroom for washing off when we do not have time for a bath.

Remember, especially in the spring, your house is 'clean enough' for today. With all that you have to do, sometimes you need to realize that your house does not have to be spotless. Spring is a busy time and, if you are like me, you probably want to be outside as much as I do. Spring is just a dirty time. So, give yourself a break if your house is 'clean enough' this spring. A little mud in the house is simply alright.

Keep your sidewalk clean. If your sidewalk is muddy, there is more of a chance that your children will bring mud into your house. Also, even if your children are not going out to play in the mud, they will still drag mud in when they walk on your dirty sidewalk.

If you are having guests and play dates, remind them of your rules. If they are your friend, they will not mind taking off their shoes and coats in your designated area. They will also not mind changing their children's muddy clothes before visiting in your home. True friends will also not be as worried as you are about the state of your house.

Playing outside, even on muddy days, is great for children. However, parents often stress about the mud and the mess. With some simple planning, you might just change your mind and let your children run and play outside, even on the muddiest of days.