I was always a bit scared of painting with my first 2 children. It always seemed like a lot of hard work and an activity that could easily get out of hand. There’s something that makes me feel all ‘Earth Mothery’ about getting the paints out and letting the children be creative.
Since I became a stay at home mum, I’ve learnt that painting doesn’t have to be so scary as long as you are well prepared – Tara absolutely loves dotting her paintbrush on the huge sheets of paper and so far my wallpaper remains unmarked!
A couple of weeks ago, Millie and one of our nieces arrived home from High School to be begged to paint by Violet & Tara – It was so lovely to see all 4 of them relaxed and having fun with the paintbrushes. My girls are fans of prepared sheets to paint but equally like the blank canvasses – I never liked this as a kid, I always thought my creations were rubbish. Probably something to do with my perfectionist tendencies!
Last week, Tara was begging me to paint – I set her all up then Violet arrived home. I have never seen Violet concentrate better than when she is painting (or eating ice-cream, if I’m honest) As you can see from the photo, Tara’s interest only lasts so long. Over half an hour later, I took the next photo. Millie has joined in and they are deep in concentration.
One of my favourite pictures from last summer involves the kids painting. We let them go outside and go wild with a cardboard box – I actually used some of this as a video entry to became a Center Parcs blogger. The 3 of them got together and designed an outside house suitable for a hot sunny day – The cardboard box is now in residence in my Mother-in-law’s garage as we discovered we needed it after all. Hey Ho, its colourful at least!
Here are my tips for painting with your kids:
* We use loads of different materials to paint with – Potatoes, Marshmallows, Carrots – My recent favourite is the ‘tree’ bit of a broccoli! The Center Parcs website suggests using fingers to make flower petals which is a fab idea!
* Ramekins are fantastic to put the different paints in – not too wide that you end up wasting loads of paint.
* Big paintbrushes are great for toddler hands
* Have ready made sandwiches waiting in the fridge for when you little one had finished. Don’t be kidding yourself that they will want to help clean up – Just wipe them down and stick them in front of the telly with their dinner. It will take half the time.
* An airer with pegs is a great place to dry your creations and it will be so much quicker than leaving on a worktop.
* Outside painting is super easy on a patio with poster paints – They are so quick to swill away with a bucket or hosepipe.