For Sarah Michelle Gellar, the actress, mom of two and founder of Foodstirs, a culinary lifestyle company known for its signature recipes and cake pop, brownie and cookie mixes, it’s not only okay for kids to make a mess when they’re in the kitchen, but that time together is a moment the entire family will forever remember.
“We call that memory-making time,” said Gellar at a Swiffer-sponsored say ‘Yes to the Mess’ event in New York City. In fact, while 72 percent of parents feel that letting kids make a mess helps encourage their creativity, nearly all have said ‘no’ to their kids’ requests because of the mess it could make, according to Swiffer data.
“Sure, I like a clean house,” said the Buffy the Vampire Slayer star, who currently has a voice role in the Disney animated series Star Wars Rebels. “But washable markers are washable and dirt comes up.”
Gellar’s a big believer that you should never stop a project to clean, she adds.
“Don’t take yourself out of the moment,” she says. “When you’re baking together that’s precious time. And when you’re done, your kids can help clean up alongside you.”
In fact, Gellar, the mom of Charlotte, six, and Rocky, three, started Foodstirs to give moms quick and easy projects they could easily do with their kids.
“Baking is all about hand-eye coordination for young kid’s” she says. “It helps with vocabulary, math and science, too.”
Time in the kitchen is a decidedly non-techy way to spend time as well.
“I just read a study that focused on the fact that there has been a plateau in technology and that kids are losing creativity because of it,” Gellar says. “Creativity is the road to invention.”
And, if your kitchen is a complete mess by the time your baking project is done, just think: You’re ultimately helping your kids, Gellar says.
“When you’re on the computer, your eyes get lazier,” she says. “When you’re in the kitchen, you’re using so many sides of your brain. Every mess can be cleaned up, but that time spent together can never be replaced.”