What a mess!


From felt tip pens on the walls to slime on the sofa – life with the kids at home in lockdown hasn’t been a bed of roses for British families. Now a new survey* has revealed some eye-openers about the sort of mess and chaos parents have had to cope with, while holding down a job-from-home at the same time.

Nearly half the parents surveyed (44 per cent) said they’d turned their backs for a few seconds only to find their child had tipped an entire plate of food over themselves, and a third had to remove felt tip drawings on the sofa. Glitter has been spilt across a quarter of the nation’s carpets, while 23 per cent have had slime rubbed into upholstery.

The messiest kids in the country seem to live in Cardiff where parents spend up to 12 hours a week cleaning up kids’ mess, compared with London where they only spend eight hours tidying away.On average, parents spend up to nine hours a week clearing up after their kids.

But it seems that many parents are taking things in their stride, worrying less about the mess and thinking more of the lasting memories that are being made. Nearly every parent surveyed (98 per cent) said that allowing kids to enjoy messy play is a good thing, with over half saying it helps creativity and imagination. Four in 10 commented that they’d rather their kids were messy than on screens all day.

Psychologist Emma Kenny, who was involved in the survey, says: ‘Many studies have shown that happy children thrive on creative expression. Young children do this through messy play as it is both fun, and a fantastic way to change the environment around you. Whilst parents can find cleaning up after children frustrating, and a little exhausting, they also understand how important a sense of freedom is for their little ones.’

Biggest bugbears

  1. Tipping an entire plate of food over themselves (44%).
  2. Felt tip pen drawings on the sofa (33%).
  3. Clothes covered in mud from the garden (33%).
  4. Make-up smeared everywhere (31%).
  5. The living room walls covered in pen drawings (30%).
  6. Covered from head to toe in something such as face cream (26%).
  7. Glitter spilt all over the house (25%).
  8. Slime smeared across furniture and upholstery (23%).
  9. Broken furniture due to boisterous games (21%).
  10. Mud on the carpet from riding bikes/scooters in the house (16%).

* Survey by household towel brand, Regina Blitz

Visit www.reginablitz.co.uk