As a parent, you try to expose your child to as much artistic expression as you can. We love to dress up and play Spiderman, build a tower out of blocks, make play dough food, sing a goofy song we just made up, that always sounds a lot like “Let It Go,” but I have shied away from painting because…mess.
Don’t Fear the Mess
My three-year-old loves Bob Ross and his happy little trees. I decided to bite the bullet and take a break from watching Moana/Elsa/Tiana and do a take-home hands-on activity from Spirited Art. Truthfully, it was the take-home and get my home messy part that had me a little worried, but my kiddo did really well. I was also right there with baby wipes and to lay down the law if needed.
The process was as easy as placing my order online, driving to Campus No. 805, and having Liz drop off the supplies in the back of my vehicle. It was touch-free, and super convenient. She sent over a PDF with instructions. We decided to tackle the project the next day. Liz suggested putting the paint in the fridge to keep it from drying out.
Tip: You will need your own brushes.
If your kid is anything like mine, they have a sweet spot just after breakfast and right before a snack. She fires on all cylinders. That is the time when we decided to do our monkey painting. I happened to have an easel from a painting phase I went through years ago, and we set everything up by the kitchen sink. Water, baby wipes, and soap were all within arms reach.
Painting the background was a lot of fun, and I just let her go for it. The paint was thick in places, and the hardest part was waiting for everything to dry. During those times, I would set up our hairdryer or give her a snack. I made this into an all-day process so that I didn’t overwhelm her.
Putting the paint on my hands was squishy, and honestly, it made me happy to finger paint like a kid. We put some flair on the monkeys with some bows and even had Dad get involved and draw a frog. (That’s what the “Slimer from ghostbusters” thing is at the bottom.)
Because it was a bath night, we just washed off and then scrub-a-dub dubbed. It went so much better than I could have expected, and she enjoyed it.
Don’t stress about the (possible) mess. Make some memories, and enjoy getting your artistic side out without having to think of everything. This is a perfect experience gift for a kid if you need to pass it along to any grandparents.
Beth Ridgeway lives in Madison with her husband, daughter, and toy poodle. She works as the Social Media Specialist at the Huntsville/Madison County Convention & Visitors Bureau. When she’s not volunteering or working, you can find her binge watching Netflix, reading, or rehearsing improv.