Thing 3

This Story Starts Out About My Kids And Painting…

It’s really hard taking pictures of small children. I prefer the shotgun approach in that I take so many photos, periodically I’ll end up with good ones. With AndyZ, I can barely ever even get him to look at me, let alone smile. I have an arsenal of questions I ask or things I say to try to get his attention…

Where’s Momma?
Do you see a bird?
Where’s E-Ya-Ya?
and then…of course…
Where’s your nose? Not the best one to use when we’re fingerpainting.

AndyZ is already showing the mad art skillz that most daycare kids learn. Because these teachers force projects on them earlier than I would ever dream, they start understanding concepts like painting and coloring very early. I’ve caught AndyZ playing with my paintbrushes a few times, (I say my paintbrushes like I’m some sort of cool artist and not just someone who just happens to have paintbrushes.) and when he does, he seems to hold them correctly and tries to paint with them. Sans paint. When he sits at the desk with me (because he’s like his sister and wants to be held if there’s an open lap available) he grabs pens and writes on paper. His sister did the same things…and I feel like that is all the gift of daycare. There is no way in hell I’d be brave enough to let my kids paint or color before they were old enough to understand that we don’t color or paint on the dogs or the humans. Or the walls. Or our mouths.

But we have an easel outside that is just for Painting Sans Stress. I throw the kids in clothes that can be easily cleaned, I bring a pack of wipes out for a quick wipedown pre-bath, and I let them have at it. I looked at the first photos of NikkiZ painting on the easel and realized it was about time to introduce AndyZ. This weekend was his first session in the Studio ‘o Zoot. Here is a picture of his first session as compared with his sister’s.

She is a month or two older than he is in the first session, and he is already looking to be a more conservative artist. NikkiZ never had a problem with getting her hands covered and tried to cover every piece of paper. AndyZ kept trying to get the paint off his hands and kept his creation contained to very small piece of real estate. He also got very mad at me when I added a swipe or two with the paintbrush. I tried to explain it was merely for instructional purposes, but I think he thought I was trying to bogart his masterpiece.

Do you have a way to Paint Sans Stress in your home? Do you have any tips or techniques to share? Or more importantly…any products you recommend? NikkiZ is using those paint/brush combos in her painting and those are great…but sometimes a little tricky on an easel. They require some effort to get the paint flowing if the surface is remotely upright. More importantly…what’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned in the Kids Paint department. Mine is, “Never put a kid in the bathtub covered in paint. The water turns scary colors and my possibly freak the kid out.” Hence the pre-bath wipedown with wipes. Nobody wants to bath in brown water.

OMG. I am such an idiot. They are no where NEAR the same age in these photos. MATH IS NOT MY FRIEND. NikkiZ is a whole year older in her photo. Which, honestly? Makes me feel much better because I kinda felt like AndyZ was a little behind. OBVIOUSLY…he’s just fine. It’s his MOTHER who is the moron.

18 thoughts on “This Story Starts Out About My Kids And Painting…”

  1. HA! I love how serious he looks – like a true artiste at work! For the 10,000th time, can you adopt me? Your house looks like so much fun.

  2. i love that they use “real” paint. in our house we paint in our jammies, and we use watercolors. i know watercolors are better for kids with better fine motor skills (older), but there’s less mess and they seem to concentrate more….
    we also use the giant coloring book pages from time to time (read: i can’t find the big pads of blank paper), so they have an image to color on, and it’s not quite as free form.
    i love the painting outside idea – creating al fresco! then hose it all down (including the kid) when they’re done. and i covet the tiedye paint smocks!!

  3. I don’t consider myself a neat freak in the least, and yet I have given my kids fingerpaints a total of TWO times in their lives because I am afraid of the mess. I think an easel is probably needed from Santa this year. The photos of your kids having so much fun painting is giving me a guilt complex. (And that’s a good thing!)

    I love the T shirts!

  4. Oh I love those shots!! I love the fact that you have your kids out there doing that. I felt silly buying my niece play doh before she was two. UM kids know more than I think they do!! ; )

  5. twylitehope – From Mobile, AL, now live in Fairhope, AL - was raised as an Air Force brat and lived in several placed before coming back to Mobile. Went to school for psychology, got a job with developmentally disabled children. Worked there 8 1/2 years then got burned out. Now I am working in SEO and copywriting for websites. I'm trying to learn the field and become as much of a geek about this whole new area as possible. WIth the help of my husband (a programmer), I may be well on my way. In my spare time, I am active with several organizations, craft as much as possible, read, shop, and spend some time outside. I typically do not have time for all the things I really want to do and somehow I'm going to find time to blog. Am I nuts?
    Hope says:

    I don’t have kids but a great way to have kids express themselves in a paint-fashion and still have very little mess: give ’em a bowl of water and a paintbrush or two and let them paint on the sidewalk/concrete/walkway. This works best in warmer months as the paintings evaporate to provide a fresh work surface. Just an idea.

    I too love the tie dye paint smocks, it’s like their inspiration starts with what they’re wearing. So cute!!

  6. I don’t have any good ideas, but growing up, we used to paint while wearing a really old t-shirt of my dad’s as a smock.

  7. I love the idea of an outdoor easel! I tend to strip my little girl down to her diaper and let her have at it at the dinner table. Then I let her play at the kitchen sink, which she loves to do. Half the time she ends up crawling into the sink and by the time she is done the only paint left is on her face. Self cleaning kid!

  8. My kids are going to be in for a treat once they get to school because very rarely do I let them color, even. It just seems to make a mess. I laugh at just the idea of painting. HA! They’d paint for 5 minutes and I’d spend an hour cleaning up.

    The outdoor easel, though, is a brilliant idea.

  9. I love the fact that you allow your kids to be free with their creativity. You are such a good mom and I’m proud that you are my grandchildren’s mother! I love keeping up with their days through your blog. It brings me so much enjoyment.

  10. I confess that I’ve been avoiding paint because of the clean-up involved. Markers are nearly more than I can handle. I don’t own an easel, but those paint/brush combos and a big piece of paper out on the deck in easy reach of the kiddie pool… you might be on to something there.

  11. Hey, that would look great in my living room!! What do you say? how much? 🙂

  12. Those pictures are awesome. AndyZ seems like such a studious little artist. When my oldest daughter was Andy’s age, she wanted to paint her wooden playset just like her grandad who was staining the deck. He came up with the brilliant idea of giving her a paintbrush and a bucket of water and she “painted” her entire playset many, many times that year. It kept her busy for hours and was totally mess free.

  13. I also take the “shot gun” approach to picture taking. One has to be good right? Yes, the nose question is a bad one for finger painting but he looks so professional working on it! A work of art.

  14. My teenaged daughter has always been a writer. When she was two, that meant crayons. On the wall. We could tell she was getting taller by how high the writing was on the wall. When she finally was ready to abide by a “wall are not for drawing or writing” rule, we primed and painted. Problem solved.

  15. one fun way to pain it with pudding. You can put it in a large cookie sheet (with sides) and let them finger paint to their heart content–then they can eat it 🙂

  16. They looked like they were having a blast! Now I did think NikkiZ looked older than AndyZ in the pics.

    Oh, I thought it was neat that the kids mimi posted a comment on here too!

  17. Painting and play-doh — so much intricacy and mess, so good for you for fully GOING FOR IT. (We have the 500-piece play-doh kits, so it all gets all over the place. We like to make teeny-tiny food — pizzas, fruit, amazing little cakes.)

    Anyway. Painting.

    We fill up the wading pool, paint with brushes, hands and feet, pin the paintings to the clothesline, then rinse off in the pool. We use brown kraft paper, or newsprint that they sell by the roll, and use the paintings for giftwrap.

    wow i think i’m crafty after all! hahahaha.

    (ps i love the painting with pudding idea. we are fans of peanut butter play-doh over here. also i made homemade play-doh one time WITH GLITTER it turned out great.) this comment is too long i’d better stop.

  18. superrelish – Melbourne – Who am I? Well I am a mum to 6 year old boy-child and 4 year girl-child and wife to man-child. I chose not to be defined as 'only a mum' and I work part-time. Don't get me wrong, I love being a mum and most of the time it is great fun but it is not only who I am. I know that I am a much better mum when I am not a mum 24/7. Work gives me an additional serving of sanity, sprinkled with stress and complemented by a paypacket. All in all, life is pretty good.
    del says:

    Hmmm, no advice merely an outline of what can go colourfully wrong. I swear you just have to blink and they have painted, decorated or blinged something.

    Boy-child started off with a texta and coloured in his entire body instead of sleeping when he was about 2, then he started in on the walls and doors too. I had just recovered from the texta and when he painted his sister (he wanted to make her into a bear and painted her with pink and green ‘fur’). Next he found some interior house paint (mid renos and feature wall painting) and did a series of handprints down the stair well and in the lounge. Then when he finally worked out that painting was for on canvas or card he painted a picture for poppy. The artwork was amazing and he made no mess, but his sister decided to use his oil paints and so some finger painting. Needless to say she had blue hair and skin for weeks. The final most recent installment was when both kids coloured in their faces instead of sleeping!
    Of course in all cases I have photos to prove their artistic abilities!

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