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If you do painting / messy play with your toddler...(15 Posts)
...can you give me any tips on how to make it a less stressful experience (other than by sending them off to nursery to do it ?
DS is 2.9, easy-going and generally compliant. I find painting / messy play is hard work, though, especially the clearing up.
Getting his hands clean involves half the paint from his overalls going over the sink, where it gets straight on him again.
We use a mess mat in the kitchen (tiled floor) but the paint still seems to spread and I can never work out the best way to get rid of it before it gets trodden in again. Babywipes work, but frankly I can't afford to use them for that (we can't use them on DS's skin due to eczema).
Paper disposable matt on the floor that gets scooped right up and thrown away.
Wet washcloth kept for just that purpose, rather than going to sink.
All over smock so not on regular clothes.
I keep an old table cloth for just painting - smocks (ikea) plenty of paper and encouragement. I do find I will restrict activities eg play doh one day, painting another, glitter and glue another etc so you re not using all the equipment at once and there s slightly less mess.
I always do it before chores like washing the floor etc,
And the other most obvious is - well they need supervision cos it will end up in their hair/ on clothes/ the table legs / floor etc .......
Totally change your expectations of what it is - it s messy, nothing s gonna change it, but hey they adore it!
We have an easel that sometimes I put on the oilcloth on the floor.
Best if all is summer time - table and chairs and all equipment outside - cleaned up much easier
Oh and when it s finished after an particular messy session fill up the bath and dump them in with cups and bubbles and sit beside them with a nice coffee before you tackle the real clean up
Don't get out too much paint / glue etc. Decant a small amount onto a plate, and then there is less to get all over the floor etc!
Don't stress about it - or do it in the bath, and just switch on the water to clean child and bits. This works well for shaving foam, jelly etc
Limit the amount of paint - DD and DS never get more than a couple of tablespoons - otherwise they will just splosh around as much as there is.
Get an easel to put outside or peg some paper outside and do it out there.
Put newspaper down all over the area of impact and just chuck it afterwards.
DD enjoys the clearing up as much as the painting, so when she's coming to the end I fill a washing up bowl with soapy water, put it down on the paper and she washes out all her brushes, pots etc.
I take DS to messy play sessions at local playgroups and Surestart. I get to join in with him, but I have to worry less about walls, carpets and curtains and I think DS gets more out of it from seeing his peers get stuck in.
I've set aside one outfit as his messy play outfit, so if paint bypasses his overalls, I'm not so bothered.
We do painting sitting at the table. I put down newspaper, then paper, then paint. THen once he's finished, I just put paints in the sink and gather everything else up and bin it. DS gets wiped down and clothes taken off and chucked in washing machine.
I wouldn't do it inside with him standing as he would run it through the house.
I don't bother with smock as I have found if you wash the clothes quickly (that day, not like, within 5 minutes) the paint comes out easily anyway.
Ds's favourite bit of messy play was the cleaning up
I'd half fill the sink with very bubbly warm water, stand him on a chair at the sink and chuck everything in, so he'd wash brushes and tubs whilst getting himself clean, I could then clear the floor and put stuff away. I'd have old towels ready to dry him, the worktops and floor and then strip him, put everything in for a wash and re-dress him.
This is a great thread, I will it to use next time we do messy play / craft stuff.
I strip DT's and shower them especially after painting, then let them
watch cbeebies play while I clear up.
We use these paint pots because you can seal the lid and then store them in a big box with the paint still in. One brush for each pot so you don't have to bother cleaning brushes in between colours - saves a lot of mess.
A1 size coloured cartridge paper and we do it on the dining table with a wipe-clean table cloth. Sticky-tape the paper to the cloth so it doesn't move around too much.
The kids have a lot of paint-stained clothes and I noticed that that the bottom of the sink is all different colours the other day when I was in the bath! But mostly it's fairly easy to clean up and not too much hassle to get out, meaning I don't feel guilty about never doing it.
Yy to all these. I have a cheap oilcloth from the market, those non spill paint pots or I use one of those pallets of about five holes. Put a brush for every colour out and messy play clothes with a wipeable tabard. I spray the oil cloth and tabard, messy clothes in wash then just the hands in the sink. Only a pallete and brushes to wash up then.
But glitter..... No.... No way to clear up glitter. I conpromise by letting dd loose with glitter glue as its not as bad.
omg, glitter. We made "glitter pictures" one day where you draw a picture in glue and then sprinkle it on then shake it off.
Well, learn from my mistake.
Glitter everywhere. For weeks.
DH informed me that one of his team noticed glitter on his shoes; "I am a very important businessman Ozziewife. I cannot wear glittery shoes"
I secretly think he liked them.
Big paper and not too much paint. I bought some disposable plastic floor mats from boots about 3 years ago and cover everything in them before we start. Put dc in the bath straight after messy play, it's the only way IMO
A tip of my own, actually - we have a little table (actually a coffee table) in the kitchen which DS uses for everything. I have a clear plastic covering over it, taped into place at the corners so it can't come off easily. It means I can give him any vaguely messy activity without having to get out a table covering specially. (Anything on our kitchen table would require quite a while to clear the surfaces first! )
I think partly I find it more of a drag because we ordinarily do a morning, not evening bath, so cleaning DS up feels like more of an effort than it might be.
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