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Friday, November 14, 2008


Art is messy.  It is supposed to be that way.  Creativity takes trial and error, time, patience, and lots of experimentation, but in all reality, art with kids can be VERY messy. This makes me honestly want to skip it entirely. I'm all for the tidy coloring page and crayons, but breaking out the glitter or ink pads can make me queasy.

On the other hand, my kids ADORE art of all kinds. They happily draw trees and flowers each time we go for a nature walk, color while we drive to and from our co-op classes, and giggle contentedly when creating masterpieces of clay or fingerpaints, so I know that it is a great way to keep them happy and creative.  Handing them a pile of art supplies with no instructions and waiting to see what they do with it is always a great way to spend an afternoon - it is just the clean-up that I dread.

In order to keep my desire for orderliness and the kids' desire for general chaos in balance, I have gotten a little creative myself and re-purposed our downstairs bathroom into their personal art studio. Yup, that's right, it is kinda' embarrassing to admit, but my kids do their messiest art projects in the tub. We tape their paper right on the wall, and they stand on a non-slip mat while they paint away, smear glue, and sprinkle glitter 'til their heart's content, and when they are all done, I just pull their creations off the wall and they get the fun of washing all of the "oops" that didn't make it to the paper down the drain.  Then they are ready for a quick bath and the house and kids are all back in order.   

Sometimes the silliest of solutions are the best.

By the way, in case you can't tell, the kids tell me that the first picture is a "map of the round world." (I can't take credit for initiating this project, but I'm sure it was inspired by our recent study of the Vikings and Columbus as part of our Early American History unit.)  The second is my daughter's experimentation with color mixing.  "Red and yellow - that's orange!"


Nate, Michelle, Trent, Dylan and Aliya said...

beautiful art work and a wonderful idea!!!

Robert said...

That certainly looks like the "round" world to me. Next they should paint the square world. Make sure they include the four corners of the world.