|rice is fun|
At some point in the past 2 years I bought that cheap green tray at Ikea. It was maybe $1.99. Anytime Daphne wants to do a messier project, like painting, Play-Doh, marshmallows and toothpicks, etc., she gets to do it on the tray. The mess is contained, and it is wonderful.
I know you can use cookie sheets, and I have actually done just that when we've had friends over for crafty play dates, but A) the tray is cuter, and B) there actually was a time where I was cooking and using all my cookie sheets, but Daph was free to do art because she had her tray.
So, after nearly 4 years of parenting, I have the second thing that I have learned and feel that I can actually share (because in most situations I feel like we're such a mess that there is NO WAY anyone wants to take advice from me)...
Buy an art tray. You'll love it.
**Random side note: Daphne calls marshmallows 'mishmoes.' When children mispronounce words you're technically supposed to use the word correctly around them so that they will learn the proper pronunciation. But mishmoes? Too cute to correct.