1. You get all the paints out into the little pots, find brushes and paper, cover the table to keep it clean and dress your tot in a painting apron. (Time taken - about 20 mins)
2. Your Tot sits at the table, daubs paint all over a piece of paper until it has a wet hole in it. (Time taken - about 5 minutes.)
3. Your Tot sees the curtains/table/carpet/cat and decides that they need a face lift. (Time taken....until you mange to stop them!)
4. You remove your tot from the rapidly spreading paint disaster zone and attempt to clean them up. Now your bathroom looks like the scene of a poster paint explosion too! (Time taken - 10 minutes)
5. You attempt to find something to occupy your tot whilst you deal with THE PAINT which can take anything up to about an hour depending how far the cat has spread it!
Add in owning cream coloured carpets and the fact that the peacefully sleeping baby is just bound to wake up half way through and need you now and I think it is perfectly understandable to admit that painting with tots can be stressful!
So in this household....we take our painting outside. I dress the Tots (age 3 and age 14 months) in waterproofs and wellies/boots. Then we head out with our painting box and some brushes.
Past experience has taught us that paper rarely works in the outdoors. If it is either windy or wet which makes paper annoying to work with. So get creative and try other painting surfaces. Wood works really well, as do stones, the patio or an old sheet secured to a table or fence.
Today we are painting sticks and broken up pallets....
Big Tot starts the fun...
...whilst little tot looks on in envy!
As little tot is too unstable to stand on a chair I move
the painting down to his level
and big tot soon comes down to join in the
mess making art !!
Oh look! Still it makes a change from painting the curtains!
Joy of joys! Little tot is copying his big brother!
Let's attempt to curb the clothing painting game with a new stick to decorate shall we?
The big tot suddenly decides that he want to clean off his wellies and heads to the garden tap. He turns it on (on his own) then attempts to attach the hose pipe with it running. I try hard not to laugh at him as he gets very wet! But he eventually succeeds and starts to clean his wellies off with the hose.
"Look Mummy it's working!"
"I can hear the rain coming down"
Then Big Tot helped me clean up the painting stuff in a bucket before we headed back inside. We spent a total of about two hours outside, busy with our painting initiated play. They had a great time, got to create some 'art work', got messy, got wet, then helped to clean up afterwards. I am certain they must have learnt something along the way!? And me? I got as relatively stress free art session as is possible, and never had to step in to squash their creativity as the mess will wash away next time it rains. In fact all I did all afternoon was take photos!
So try it! Grab your paints, a set of waterproofs and get outside to do some art! We'd love to see how you got on - so leave us a comment xxx