The messy art begins

My attachment parenting group has had two really fun craft playdates with our kiddos, one for Christmas and one for Valentine's Day, and inspired by this, I thought the kids would also enjoy getting to just run wild with paint. Controlled crafts are fun and make great gifts, but I think that free art is where learning and exploration really flourish. Thanks, Jean.

I put the idea out there of having "messy art" playdates at my house, at least in the spring and fall when it's not too hot to be outside. Painting might work well in our kitchen for a small group of kids, but I felt a lot better about inviting people over if we could have everyone out in the backyard. Our first messy art day consisted of letting the kids paint on a half-sheet of watercolor paper, then after it dried, the moms cut Mardi Gras masks out of the colorful paper and let the kids decorate their masks with feathers and pompoms. It was such a success! I had cut a mask out for Kent from a piece of paper he'd already painted, so I had a model to show everyone, and the kids had a great time painting. We also put out some easel paper for them to paint for fun, and I suggested that the moms could use it as wrapping paper, like I did for Jack's birthday.

Here are some photos of our adorable kiddos and their masterworks. Braden and Savannah are over age 2, Kent and Taylor are just over one and a half, and Gregory just turned one last week, proving that tiny people CAN paint! Gregory had never painted before, so we put him in the high chair like we used to do with Kent, and he mostly used his hands to smoosh around the paint. I think he thought that paintbrushes were for sissies. Heh.

Braden and Savannah paint on their easel paper

Braden works with a foam stamping brush

Savannah demonstrates that the materials are much more fun for toddlers than the finished product

Gregory, cleaned up after his paint explorations, eats lunch

Braden and Taylor play ball while we wait for the paint to dry

One-year-old Gregory's first painting, ever!

Kent's painting (which I'm keeping as is, because he doesn't need another mask and I'm quite fond of what he made here)

Braden's finished mask

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Very, very cool.
I love it!
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