Art School for Toddlers



This past weekend we attended Uptown Kids‘ first anniversary birthday bash, where they teamed up with Prevent Blindness Oklahoma. In addition to a crazy awesome carnival (complete with petting zoo!),  the kids also got to paint a canvas which will then be auctioned off in a couple of weeks to raise money for Prevent Blindness.  How cool is that?

Jude was in hog heaven getting to paint his little canvas, which got me to thinking, “Why don’t we ever do stuff like this at home?”

Oh yeah. My anal-retentiveness about having to clean up one.more.mess.  That’s why. :-

But c’mon – I was an art major, for pete’s sake! Can I not deal with a little mess to give my child a whole lotta joy?



So it was off to Hobby Lobby we went, to pick up the couple of supplies we didn’t already have. I have a ridiculous amount of art supplies left over from my OU School of Art days.  All we were lacking were canvases, really, and a couple of tubes of paint that I was out of.  If you want to do this at home, remember that places like Hobby Lobby frequently run major promotions on art supplies.  All canvases, for example, were 30% off this week. Another idea is to go to a thrift store and buy up ugly paintings and let your kiddos just paint like crazy over them.

Hobby Lobby also sells giant packs of cheapo brushes that you don’t have to feel bad about ruining.



Keep in mind that if you choose to use acrylics (like I do), either strip your kid down to his skivvies or put them in clothes you don’t mind ruining. You will not be able to get the acrylic paint out of clothes. Ever. Trust me on this one.



I covered the kitchen table with an oil cloth splat mat that I had and taped it securely to the table so we wouldn’t have one of those “OMG” moments when one of us inadvertently pulls the tablecloth & all its painterly contents onto the floor.  A few dixie cups were filled with water & placed within sturdy plastic cups (again, to minimize spillage).  Then I let him have at it – and I did too!



I forgot how awesomely cathartic painting is.  And for Jude, he was so stinkin’ proud of himself as he swirled the paint around his 2 canvases.  The first one he used the brushes on. But the second one, he  studiously applied the paint w/ a palette knife (my personal favorite method).





Et voila!  Fabulous art for the upstairs! And he’s so proud of his work, he couldn’t wait to show Simon when he walked in the door last night.




How about you? Do you indulge your kiddos in high-mess-potential projects? I feel inspired to try new ones now!


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