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Tuesday, May 19, 2009


It's no secret that kids love to paint. My girls beg me nearly every day if they can paint. I don't really enjoy this, because it's messy and time consuming. However, I've found that giving in to their desire to paint puts them in a good mood for hours even after they have finished painting.

I have learned a few tricks, though, to make this whole messy mess a lot easier for me.

First, I buy washable paints. Really, that is the only way to go. Crayola makes a wonderful washable poster paint that cleans up very easily.

Second, I provide them with several paint brushes and paper so that I don't have to keep washing their brush or giving them more paper.

I strip the girls down and dress them in clothes that aren't important anymore. That way if the clothes get messed up, it's no big deal. Depending on the time of day and whether we're expecting anybody to be here, I might let them go without a shirt - but they are still relatively young so it's acceptable to do so.

The most important thing I do, though, is leave the room. Yep... that's the key to saving my sanity. I don't stay and watch. They have an area that is set up specifically for their art work. If they paint their benches or work table, it's no big deal. If they paint themselves - or each other - that's not really a big deal, either. If I hang around to watch, I have this almost overwhelming urge to tell them not to do these things that they find to be so enjoyable. It's just best for everybody if I leave the room and just poke my nose in every so often to be sure they are still doing okay and not getting quite too out of hand with their - ahem - experimentation. It's just better for everybody this way. They have fun. I live in peaceful oblivion.

DADDY GIVES THEM THEIR BATH AFTER PAINTING TIME!!! (That really is the most important part of this scheme...)


The Mother said...

Mine are still painting, and still making a mess, at 13 thru 21. Now they paint miniatures for their War Hammer game. But the messes are the same, and the paints aren't washable.