Do all kids love messy art projects? I have three and they all love it, but I've always wondered if there's the elusive child out there who hates making messes. The messier the better in my house! And while I hate the clean up and the potential for disaster? Nothing entertains the kids more than getting to sit down with paint and paint brushes and go to town. We are talking about HOURS of entertainment which equals HOURS of work time for me.
If you keep an eye at your local craft stores (or even the craft section of Wal-Mart) they often put their bottles of paint on sale and - even in my artist household - those paints seem to last forever. It's way more affordable to buy the individual bottles of water-based (always water based if you don't want to ruin things forever) paints when they go on sale, than the small kits of multi-color palettes. Those things cost several dollars and dry out faster simply because of how they're designed. We bought 10 bottles of paints the last time they were on sale for about $8 total and the kids have been using those same paints for over a year now. And the walls in my home are better for it.
(Because we frame their artwork. Not because we let them paint on the walls. We are not insane.)
(Not completely insane, anyway.)
But the trick is: Location, Location, Location.
I make the kids paint on the floor of the bathroom because, while water-based paint will come up relatively easily on a tile floor, it is going to take some massive amounts of elbow grease to get it out of carpet. Also? The sink is right there so there's no traveling across the house with cups of dirty water from brush-cleaning. They stand up, dump the dirty water, fill it back up, and bam! Back to work!
Find some cheap water-based paints. Turn the bathroom into an art studio. Frame their masterpieces and BAM! They've been entertained for an entire day AND you no have some amazingly personal gifts to give family at Christmas. Win/Win!
Do you have any methods for allowing your children to stay in touch with their inner-artist without breaking the bank or destroying your home?