My children (especially my almost five year old daughter) LOVE to paint. The problem we run into is that my 18 month old, as most 18 month old’s are, is VERY messy. Now I am all about getting dirty (hence the name of the blog). However, I guess I feel the need to draw the line when the paint ends up on walls, ceilings, grout and carpet that are difficult to reach and clean. Getting dirty is extra fun when it is carefree and not careless.
So my daughter loves to paint and my son loves to eat paint. What to do? I usually save this activity during my sons nap time. Inevitably there are days when he does not nap and my daughter is dying to be creative.
I have come to believe that the best skill I have as a mother is “creativity”. It has allowed me to be flexible with VERY active children and gotten me out of some serious emotional predicaments. I have “baby-proofed” for free using clothespins and rubber bands, and come up with some interesting “diapers” in emergencies.
I love to reuse items without hoarding to much trash and I had some pieces left over from our weekend plant stand build project. My daughter wanted to paint them and paper. What a great idea!
I got her all set up on our dining room table with a cloth backed vinyl table cloth. I use vinyl tablecloths for EVERYTHING. They are perfect for craft projects and play mats and I can usually find them on clearance especially now towards the end of summer. She got her designated paint clothes on and painted away. Easy peasy.
Now my son needs a little more prep work. I use an old sheet to lay under his highchair (queen size of course) and then lay a couple layers of saran wrap over his highchair tray. “Voila!”, instant art surface. I usually just strip him down to diapers or put a smock on him and let him play in the paint while making sure he eats as little as possible. It was fun this time to hand him a wood block and let him put his painty little fingers all over it. So cute. The best part…he is up and away from sisters space while she works diligently to create her masterpieces.
Clean up is not too bad and if it is hot out a run through the sprinkler serves as a great clean up but a quick wipe down works just as well. Painting is always dirty fun!