We are an art family. An all art, no discrimination, no wrong way to do it, art family. Our art room is fully stocked of anything you can use to create art. And I am a firm believer in leaving art open ended. Everyone is successful when creating art. I once read an excerpt by MaryAnn Kohl that said "When children explore art ideas, they are testing possibilities and working through challenges, much like a scientist that experiments and finds solutions. Art allows children to make their own assessments, while also teaching them that a problem may have more than one answer. Instead of following specific rules or directions, the child's brain becomes engaged in the discovery of 'how' and 'why.'" I truly do agree with her!
I have met, and are friends with, many parents that just don't like the mess that goes along with art. And I get it! I know it's hard for some, but I say at least try do as Elsa says, and "Let it go!" It you are someone who has trouble with that, there are many ways around a lot of mess! I tell moms all the time to take their plastic backyard play pool in to the yard with some paper (or not), some paint (or whatever messy medium you're using) and simply let them create! When they are finished, just turn on the hose!! We also have two red trays we call "mess catchers." They came with finger paint paper, but we use them for everything!! We use them for play dough, sand, paint and much more. And for easy cleanup with the little artists, you can use flour and water instead of paint (with food coloring or smushed berries if you don't want white). It's non toxic and washes off super easily! My point here is that there are ways to let your little ones (and not so little ones) be creative and enjoy the process without stressing you out. And remember, it's about the process, not the product!
Which brings me to this: #letthempaint. Meri Cherry writes a fabulous blog and has encouraged all of us to label any photos of our kiddos painting with hashtag "let them paint." Start out by heading over to this TED TALKS then over to Meri Cherry's post Let Them Paint - Here's Why for a better explanation of why we do this. Trust me, you'll see.
So in the mean time, look for us on Instagram and Facebook and follow the #letthempaint.
This is how we have been painting this week...
We walked to the hardware store and bought a cheap drop cloth. We got the kind with the plastic backing. It's thin and moves like a sheet so we could drape it over the hedges and fence.
|and they got to work|
|I put out the paint and some utensils|
*side note* We use these plastic baskets so they
can put the utensils in them for easy clean up.
The kids are responsible for putting them in the kitchen sink
and I just wash them all off.
|There were no instructions, just an open ended invitation.|
|They weren't told what or how to use anything.|
|I just love the way the light and shadows danced on the paper.|
The next day we rotated the drop cloth and and painted some more!
|This time I put out the paint and nature utensils.|
|Again, they could choose what and how to use it.|
|Everyone should look like this at the end of a great art project ;) #letthempaint|