Yes to the Mess

By Natalie

Thank you to everyone who reached out to express their love for our advent calendar. I’m blown away by all of the sweet words, my mama heart is full. I’m constantly reminded that this is a time to create memories with Felicity, a merry time indeed. Today I’m grateful for so many things including Brandon for putting Lici to bed so many nights, which allowed me time to prep all of this. Grateful to my mom for instilling a love for crafting in me. Even when she signed me up for a quilting class when I was 13. I at the time was so embarrassed, but I learned a thing or two about a sewing machine. I might be doing that same thing to Lici! I’m grateful to all of the crafters in my family who had the patience to teach me all I know about glitter, glue, yarn, thread, paper, needles, fabric, you name it!

I am also especially grateful for the trip to Hobby Lobby that Brandon’s mom carted Lici and I off to our last visit that inspired our Advent day 2 activity! We saw a pom pom Christmas tree there that I knew Lici and I could recreate. The tree we saw had much smaller poms, but we decided to use these bigger ones since they were easier for little hands to handle.


  • Styrofoam cones
  • Spray adhesive
  • Pom poms
  • Yarn or faux fur

Mamas always ask me how I manage to do these crafts with a toddler. The answer is I’m ok with getting really messy. You have to be ok with this behind the scenes pom poms on the floor. I’m pretty sure right here I’m telling Lici, “You’re throwing alot of those pom poms, you will have to pick them all up.”. And she did, that was part of the activity for her, throwing the poms and picking them back up. They may have had a little extra dog hair than I would have liked when they made it back in the bin but, what’re you gonna do?

Felicity and I love messy sensory play. Here’s a throwback to some old activities we tried that got way messier than expected!↓

At 18 months Lici loved playing in dry foods like rice, beans and oatmeal. Oatmeal got way out of hand. I handed Lici the broom when she finally emptied the container and she swept the oatmeal all across the kitchen floor. She did not clean it up at all but in my mind she was learning the concepts she needed to in order to pick up the pom poms at the end of our recent activity. We play, create, explore, we clean up.

A few tips for water play especially, do not use more than you are willing to clean up. If you can only handle wiping up a cup of water then only give your toddler a cup’s worth of water to play in. Do not fill an entire bin, because it will be emptied! Keep extra rag towels, baby wipes and dust pans on hand for messy activities like these. If the weather is decent try these things outside, however in my experience we’re usually doing these types of things on rainy days. In which case it’s best to have a few old bath towels on the floor for easier clean up. Also, sometimes it’s ok to completely abandon an idea if it did not turn out how you thought it would. I’ve done this many times, try again with something simpler next time.

Another of my favorites that we tried earlier this year was a shaving cream cardboard box “cake”. Brandon often comes downstairs to find a major adorable mess. He probably expects it at this point. Lici excitedly tells him what she’s making. “Hey Daddy! I’m makin a cake!” For this one I sprayed shaving cream into a bowl for her to spread on a cardboard box. Then she added cut up foam squares for sprinkles and old birthday candles.

Back to our trees, I sprayed our Styrofoam cones with spray adhesive which made this project so easy! All Lici had to do was pick out her pom poms and stick them on. I helped her squish them in the open spaces toward the end but other than that she did this mostly on her own! After her tree was finished she watched me spray my tree with adhesive and wrap fluffy velvet white yarn around my tree, complete with poms on the top and bottom. You could also use felt or fabric or faux fur which I almost used, but I had this white yarn on hand and was really happy with the outcome!

I’m so glad that we said yes to the mess and created these beautiful mommy daughter trees together!

2 Comments on Yes to the Mess

  1. Nesi
    December 8, 2020 at 9:00 pm (3 years ago)

    Thanks for the spray adhesive tip! I’ll have to try that! Love your shaving cream cake and DIY Christmas tree ideas! So much fun! Your last pic is adorable 🥰 Love and miss you both!!!

    • Natalie
      December 12, 2020 at 7:11 pm (3 years ago)

      Thanks! Yes! The spray adhesive worked so well! It was also helpful for quick fixes a week later when Lici gave it a bit too much love!


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