Painting with toddlers (or even toddler) is not always easy, unless you do a few things that work. What things? I am going to tell you.
1. Stop being bossy. Let it go. Forget about rules. Squirt out the paint, hand out the brushes. This is supposed to be fun, remember?
2. Let them help you. For reals. Don’t give them the fake stuff while you are using the real stuff. If this makes you nervous, see number one again.
3. Assume paint will get in their hair and be OK with that. Besides, blue streaks and red streaks are popular for hair styles these days. Paint will also get on furniture. So, don’t do it around the fancy living room set you just bought. Wear an apron. Put your hair in a pony tail. Painting is messy and fun. Emphasis on fun.
4. Don’t use toxic paint. Yes, all paint is kind of toxic, but some is more toxic than others (some have minerals that are not to come in contact with your skin). Do some research. Open the windows. Don’t paint with kids who still like to eat paint. Use precautions. Be smart about it.
5. Let your toddler take the lead. Seriously. We made backgrounds all week. Tiny-Small took a glass bottle and rolled it over my canvas. It smeared the paint and looked super cool. So, remember, toddlers are smarter than you are when it comes to creativity. They are actually geniuses. Adults often give that up as they grow up because they learn to follow rules, provide the “correct” answer and want to fit in. Your kid is a genius. Don’t believe me? Watch this video.
6. Create something together. It’s an awesome experience. When you put it in a frame and your child knows you are taking what they are doing seriously, it makes them swoon with love and happiness. We all want to be taken seriously, right? Sign both of your names at the bottom. Make it special. Make it real art because it is real art.
Now, take off your bossy pants, and go paint with your kids. It’s an experience they will never forget. Plus, art makes you smarter. It also makes you human. Revel in your humaness. Be amazed by your child’s creative genius. I am telling you, it is totally worth the mess.