I hear parents say they wish they could make more art with their kids, but they don’t want to deal with the mess. I’m here to say, “EMBRACE THE MESS!” I hope that got your attention. Yes, you may end up with paint on your clothes, in your hair, and on your furniture, but really, painting with kids does not have to be scary.
If possible, designate an area in your house where messes can be tolerated. Put some plastic on the floor, tape paper to the table, put shower caps on the heads of all children involved , get yourself a hazmat suit! Do whatever it takes to immerse your family in the artistic tradition of painting. Let them eat, sleep, and breathe art, but remember this only works if you buy non-toxic paint. ALWAYS buy the non-toxic paint because trust me, some kids take the whole eating part a little too seriously. Don’t let them sleep in the paint either. This is not supposed to be taken literally, People.
Listen, your kids might go a little wild sometimes and try to blow paint around with straws or paint their arms up to their elbows and declare that they are now wearing gloves. It’s going to be a mess, but it’s worth it. You will discover that your three year old child will not only talk about colors like teal, but he or she will also know which colors to mix in order to make teal. That’s amazing, right? You will have preteens who understand what makes for good composition and why it’s important to think about value. They will throw these terms around at dinner parties and impress your friends. Your kids will have their own art shows and win awards for their drawings. So what if you used to have a brand new coffee table and your kids painted it to look a bit more shabby chic, right? One day you’ll be repaid when they get a full scholarship to attend the Rhode Island School of Design.
Stop hyperventilating, pick up a paintbrush, and repeat after me, “Painting with kids does not have to be scary, painting with kids does not have to be scary…” Free college is worth letting my walls have a few pink and blue handprints and hey those pencil drawing look super-duper on my dining room chairs too. Phew!
Keep your eye on the prize, my friends…EYE ON THE PRIZE!