The messiness leads into another fun activity - clean up! Most toddlers seem born to be our litre helpers. Embrace this! Give them cleaning cloths, allow them to bring their plates to the kitchen, etc. As they reach age 2 and older, show them how to put dishes (carefully) into the dishwasher, clean up small spills, etc. They will the think they are being your best helper, which is a huge self confidence booster. They are learning some life skills, and maybe a little independence.
Photo credit: med-8316 by aaron gilson via Flickr