From the moment my son wakes up to the moment right before he drifts off to dreamland, he wants to go outside. He wants to go out so badly, he has even made it one of the few words that he learned to say consistently. His eyes aren’t even open in the morning and he is saying “OOuuuuuuuttt!!!” We built a play area outside that he loves and he looks like a little Mario Andretti in his little tykes car. However, not every day is bright and sunny so we can play outside. It does rain and Connor hates…HATES…to get his hair wet, maybe he thinks he might melt. So, going outside to splash in puddles while it’s raining is not on his bucket list. I had to come up with something that is as fun as pretending to be Fred Flintstone outside in the sun. I searched through Pinterest and saw a lot of things that looked fun. BUT, there was NO WAY my hyper, always-on-the-move child was going to sit and put stickers on a piece of paper or play with slime/play dough without eating it. I then saw a recipe for homemade paints. I figured that before I went through all the trouble of making it, I would do a test. I had some paints left over from other projects around the house so I tried with those. He had lots of fun making a mess and was about 50% of the time the mess was on the paper. The paper however, started to curl and get soggy with all the paint Connor was putting on it. I wanted a way to keep the paintings (ya know, trying to be a good mom) but the paper wasn’t the thing. Still trying to figure out my curling paper dilemma, I cleaned up and put the paints back in the garage and it hit me. WOOD! I can have him paint on some wood scraps I have and it would stay forever! The next rainy day I got a scrap of wood (plywood to be exact) sanded the edges really quickly so there were no splinters to eat or get stuck with and we were off and painting!
I put down some old towels on the kitchen table to save it from the whirlwind of paint that is about to be thrust upon it. You could also use a dollar store table cloth or a painting drop cloth. I wanted it to try something a little artsy, so this time so I put stickers on the wood. (If you are really on top of your mommy game and know its going to rain later in the week, you could paint the wood pre-stickering it. That way when you stick the stickers on it’s not just plain wood when you pull them off. But let’s face it, I am not that awesome of a mom yet so everything is pretty last minute)
After I started putting the letter stickers on, I realized that I didn’t have enough R’s to spell brother so I had to use all capitals. So this sign yells at you 🙂 Connor told me where to put the words and pretended to put stickers on with me. Then the fun begins…
I use a paper plate for his palette and hen he goes to work. He uses his fingers because who has time to wash out the brush after? Not me. He mixes the paints up and asks for more colors if he isn’t satisfied with his mixture. The one thing that he is not good at is coloring the corners, so I usually step in and join the fun to make sure the whole board is covered, especially around the stickers.
He isn’t Bob Ross painting “happy little trees”, but he gets the job done. He has a lot of fun fine tuning the painting making sure it is up to his high standards. After his is done, he holds his hands up and goes “aye aye aye ewwwwwww aye aye” I feel that he means “Hey hey hey…my hands are now too gross to make this more beautiful so I’m done” Washing the paint off is always an adventure. I normally find paint some where that makes me question how it got there, but after about 2 min of washing, he is color free. Now we wait! I usually let it sit overnight as he tends to glob the paint on. The next day I pull of the stickers and look how cute!
In order to make him really excited to do the painting, I have been putting them up in his room. He tells me where to hang them up so he has a little art wall. Every time he goes in his room he points to them and seems to be proud of his accomplishments. We use the Command Velcro strips to hang them up so we don’t damage the walls.
So next time it ‘s rainy or too hot to go outside, try this activity. Doing it on the wood means that I can keep them forever and they won’t get damaged like doing art on paper. This was definitely a Pinterest win!