In the art store this morning I overheard a little boy (about age 4) ask his mother for some paints (Crayola washable kind.) She replied with a quick "no, your not quite ready for painting yet, when you get older we will get some." I had to peek around the corner to check if my voice age estimate was correct. Yes, this boy was about Emma's age. Shocked, I had to hold myself back from jumping into their conversion and giving her a shake! Come on lady! Really? Not ready for paints! This kids inner artist is screaming at you to come out! Okay, a little dramatic or maybe just passionate. Either way, I wondered how many moms out there let fear of mess stop them from letting their kids explore.
Children don't need to be making a masterpiece they just need to be feeding their wonderful little sensory system with colors and textures and letting their imaginations go.
Some tips I have if you fear the mess. Go outside! Lay big rolls of art paper or even wrapping paper out for them to paint on. Give them household things to paint with like shapes cut from a sponge, a rubber basting brush, cookie cutters, bubble wrap and of course their best tools are there hands! Try things to use other than paint like finger painting with pudding or shaving cream art. With really young ones go outside the box. It usually works better and there is no expectations....just to have fun.