It takes guts to get really messy with your children. It is not for the faint hearted…or the impatient…ahem…..or for those who just do not enjoy the ‘getting messy’ process. For me, I love seeing the excitement on the children’s faces just when you announce ‘we are going to do painting!!!’ That in itself makes it worthwhile. That doesn’t mean I don’t get stressed, cry from frustration and question my sanity….
Recently the children and I did a larger scale painting exercise. BB wanted to make paper chains for his birthday party, and we just love paper chains and painting so why not mix the two!
This was a nice little distraction from the thought that I am about to start cleaning out our house for our big move, and probably won’t have a lot of time in coming weeks to do fun stuff like this.
I rolled out a long piece of art paper, had a variety of tools – sponges, rope, rollers etc. Put the kids in old clothes. Then we got messy….
Words of Advice
It’s all in the planning and preparation – think of it like a military operation
Plan in advance – what are you going to do. How will it work, where will finished items go to dry so little fingers don’t get back into it, how will you clean up
Preparation – for our recent exercise I had two big tubs – the kind you put ice and drinks in for parties. They were half filled with water. I had two towels on hand. I had the laundry door unlocked for quick and easy access to a wet area if required. I had all my paints, trays, painting implements ready to go.
Explain expectations to your children clearly – Do not eat the paint. Do not paint your sister/brother/cat/me/house…you get the picture. After we are finished you can play with the hose and swim in the tubs.
Accept that mess will happen and children’s interest will wain after a very short time. The cost benefit ratio may be questioned. Then you need to get into the spirit of it, enjoy the moment, take gorgeous photos and laugh out loud.
Oh, and number 1 piece of advice when doing messy play like painting – never ever leave your young unattended with messy items for longer than a nanosecond…..