Learning Through Play: Why Stress About The Mess?

I was recently saddened to overhear a mum say she refused to let her son feed himself because he made too much mess and it was just too much hassle to clean up after him. Now, if you are concerned about the mess a 7 month old makes when eating then how on earth will you cope with a toddler wielding a dripping paintbrush through the house or (god forbid) a permanent marker? How will you deal with your child splashing about in puddles or making mud pies in the garden? How will you react when your little one arrives home from school looking a little less pristine then when you dropped them off?

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