Friday, February 6, 2009

Painting and Play-doh

I guess this is the follow-up post from yesterday's sad winter post! We did indeed stay home and inside for the whole day. I suppose we could have had a field trip, but honestly, I was too lazy to do the whole "crazy toddler get your clothes on" dance. So instead we painted. The kids had an absolute blast, as this is something we don't do very often. Here are a couple action shots.

Did you note the intense concentration in this picture?? He is working extra hard on making that one red blob perfect.

And just in case there are any other mom readers out there who are looking for ideas, I'll share some of my painting tips with you. Isn't that nice??

First, anytime you have a party that involves a plastic table cloth of any kind-save it! These work great as drop cloths for painting time. If they get too disgusting, you just toss them out. If they stay clean, well, I of course save it for next time! You can also buy these at the dollar store-a two pack!

Second, I suggest investing in an easel. Easy for me to say, I know because I got mine for free. But the Little Tykes easel we have is great. My favorite feature is that the little ledges that hold the paint are removable. This makes cleaning them a snap.

Third, use paint cups with lids on them. We have three of these that came with our free easel that are made by Little Tykes I guess. But, I needed a fourth one, so I made my own:

I just took the smallest variety of Glad ware and cut a hole in it. It worked great.

Fourth, use old wrapping paper for painting paper. That is, if you don't happen to have any painting paper and you decide at the last minute to paint. Not that I would do that. Ahem. Anyway, I bought a roll of Valentine's wrapping paper at Target for $1 and have used it for three things so far. First, I covered our Valentine mailbox (more on this later). Second, I cut out hearts from the paper for a craft, and last, I unrolled big sheets of it for the kids to paint on. While it is sort of my fantasy to have one of those cute Pottery Barn art tables with the white butcher paper roll attached, that is not my current reality. So, cheap wrapping paper it is!

Last, while the kids are painting fill a bucket with soapy water. This way, when they are finished painting, you can just dump everything in the bucket. I also recommend having a "transition activity" planned so you can clean up without the kids "helping". We did paint with water.

Play-doh has become the most popular pastime at my house! They are totally loving it. I am working really hard to put aside my anal inclinations to make them keep the colors separate, because I'm pretty sure it would no longer be fun if I was policing play-doh mixing. So, it's only a matter of time before the only color play-doh we have is brown, but for now, the thrill of swirly play-doh is more than they can resist! To put the icing on the salty play-doh cake is the fact that Lyla calls it "plu-doh". Well, that and she likes to play with it with her ballerina dress on.

I want to do more than just survive winter! I want the kids to have fun. I want me to have fun. I want to not lose my mind. We're working on it!

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