But, as I was scanning through family photos, I thought of a few more to share :)
Use biodegradable materials outside so you don't have to worry about clean up.
A nice hosing down of the deck and we were all done!
The same idea works for when finger paint is in order; moving it outside makes for a much more relaxing, hose-down clean up including the child in the wash down process.
(I found leaving clothes on made the bodily hose down a non-traumatic experience on hot days and the clothes washer doesn't mind if the clothes are already wet.)
When a coloring passion hits, cover the table with paper and give free reign to table cloth creations. Although... the paper isn't likely to be the only spot decorated.
(There is definitely a time for them to learn about staying on a sheet of paper and cleaning up their messes, but he's less than two years old here.)
When handing over a box of extra whipped cream from The Cheesecake Factory (or another substance which can double as both body paint and food)... the bathtub is a great spot!
And finally, when exploring water is the passion of the day... turning the hose on low and letting the back yard be their play ground allows for much more exploration than a bath tub.
Alas, I should also mention that there are times when messes shall prevail and this is one of the most endearing incidents where that occurred. My son discovered this magical ball in the refrigerator. You drop it and it makes this fascinating sound and turns yellow!
I caught the experiment at number two egg and prevented number three's demise :)
Happy relishing of childhood learning!