Making a mess in Madison

We spent the weekend visiting my sister's family in Madison, Wisconsin. On Saturday morning we explored the Madison Children's Museum. It's a really fabulous children's museum with all the hands on fun you'd expect at a children's museum, but one highlight for our three kid was the art studio space. A bright sunny room was packed with crayons, a weaving station, natural materials, glass windows to paint on, collage supplies, and a whole corner of recycled materials for art projects. It was what my house would look like if the kids were given free reign: scraps of paper all over the floor, things hanging from the ceiling, paint on the windows, and all the TAPE you could ever hope for. Now that we've dedicated some space in our unfinished basement for a kids' play area I'm also trying to carve out some room for art making. Surprisingly, the older they get the messier more creative they get. I saw this post on a DIY Recycling Center for Kids on Handmade Charlotte which my kids would also love. I do try to hang on to things I think they'd like to make something with (a friend of mine even "gifts" old boxes and cardboard scraps to my daughter Olivia), but I get frustrated with the space needed to keep all this stuff. One of my continuing struggles as a parent: balancing their creative spirit and the mess it sometimes creates. They're already asking if they can paint on the windows at home.