Friday, February 12, 2010


We have started painting on a fairly regular basis. Lemme tell you, the "fairly regular basis" is the trick here! The first few times we've done it, it's been a nightmare for me. Paint everywhere, Q eating paint, paintbrush thrown on floor, and all that work for a whole two minutes that she's interested in painting. It can be a little frustrating! But if you keep with it and work to set up a routine for painting (or any type of artwork), even young children can learn to enjoy it! Here are some things that help me:
I like these paints. They are in small bottles, which is great for storage, and they also get used up somewhat quickly, so that means I have fresh paint. Big bottles that last forever tend to get crusty over time, and who wants to paint with crusty paint? I buy them at walmart. They are washable children's paint by Crayola.
I made a smock out of one of those plastic bags that sheet sets come in. I cut a hole for her head, slit it up the back and on the sides and added a little velcro. It can wipe off easily and is just her size. I wanted to use something I already had in my house, and this was just the ticket! If you need a smock, look around your house for what you can convert!
I always use an "art tray" for any type of art project. This helps corral materials and makes cleanup easier. Also gives children a sense of boundary, as art projects can tend to go all over the place. This is a big plastic tray we got from Ikea for .49! You can also use a big cookie sheet.
I love the plastic grid-like shelf liner. I use it for all sorts of things! In this case, I cut a piece slightly smaller than our paper to hold the paper in place while Q painted. Young children have trouble with their paper moving because they don't yet know how to apply even pressure as the write or paint. I also cut a round piece to put under the paint (contained in a sour-cream container lid).

Here is the table after she finished. Notice all the paint is pretty much contained to the tray. Much better than this.
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