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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    967

    Default Painting with toddler?

    DD is a little over two and I am thinking of introducing her to painting I think she would really enjoy it, but am afraid of creating too much of a mess. We tried the dot paint markers that some people on these boards suggested, but she doesn't want to use them the way the instruction say (dabbing) but drags them on the paper which supposedly isn't good for the marker.

    So, at what age did you introduce your toddler to paint? What type did you use (is watercolor the easiest to clean up)? What other supplies helped keep this an enjoyable experience and reduce spills, etc.? Also, is it easier to paint on an easel rather than on a table or does the paint drip down more? We are close to an Ikea so I plan to buy their easel at some point, just not sure if now or when DD is a bit older.

    Thanks in advance for any tips

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    989

    Default

    We paint in one of my daughter's First 5 classes (first5.org) and they put the washable paint on a plastic or paper plate, and put the painting paper on a cafeteria tray. My daughter is 19 months as of today, and extremely fussy and neat, but the set up seems to work well with some of the other kids. They also use a very unusual paintbrush, almost like a thick tapered blush brush.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    8,952

    Default

    We paint with DD2 who is 21mos. She's probably been painting for 4-6mo now because she sees big sis do it and wants in on the fun. We use finger paints and washable paints (both crayola brand). With finger paints I take the girls outside in the driveway with either large sheets of finger paint paper or just a long strip off our easel roll. I squeeze paint out on the sheet and let them go at it. For the regular paints we have a set that comes with about 12 colors in small tubs. I pour a variety of colors out on a paper plate, give her a brush, foam brush, or piece of sponge and put her in the highchair (so she can't wander my house covered in paint). DH also took the easel outside, put the paint in muffin tins and let them go wild then just hosed them off at the end I've never had a problem with paint stains on clothes (I usually wash them within 48hrs) but I also try to either have them in pj's or older clothes JIC.

    I do not have a high mess tolerance so it took me a while to get comfortable with letting the girls have paints, especially in the house, but more often than not it turns out to not be that messy.
    Mom to two amazing DDs ('07 & '09) and a fur baby.

    Gluten free since Nov '11 after non-celiac gluten sensitive diagnosis. Have had great improvement or total elimination of: migraines, bloating/distention, heartburn, cystic acne, canker sores, bleeding gums, eczema on elbows, dry skin and scalp, muscle cramps, PMS, hair loss, heart palpitations, fatigue. I'm amazed.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    834

    Default

    I never would have believed it, but when DS1 was 14 months old I went to pick him up for daycare and he was sitting in a little chair, painting with a thick paint brush. He knew who to dab the brush in the watercolors and paint the paper! I never would have thought he was capable that young.
    DS1 - 11/09
    DS2 - 7/11

  5. #5
    MamaSnoo is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    2,007

    Default

    We use the washable paints, and I frequently let her paint topless at home so that clothes are not a mess. She loves it.

    We also use the color wonder markers from crayola--they only mark on the special paper, so no mess..I know you did not ask about markers, but it sounds like your LO might like these. I think that they make color wonder paints too, but I have not tried them.
    Bug-a-wug 3/2008

    Baby-Boy 5/2012.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    7,253

    Default

    DD goes to daycare and has been "painting" since she was 3 mo. She mostly does finger painting but is now (at 17.5months) starting to use a brush (although often times she drops the brush and goes for the fingers anyway). The daycare uses washable paint. I think the kids have smocks (either that or they strip them down to paint, because I rarely see any paint on their clothes). I assume that they put down some kind of tarp when they paint because the daycare has white carpet with no stains.
    Mommy to my little bear cubs DD1 and DD2- 4/2010 and 4/2012

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    967

    Default

    Thanks for the tips! I'm going to buy some art supplies next week and give it a go. I'm excited, and I'm sure DD will be too!

  8. #8
    lbess is offline Copper level (50+ posts)
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
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    91

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    We've been painting since my daughter was 1. Paint is going to be a little messy, so trick #1 is to realize that ahead of time and prepare, so you can enjoy the fun instead of worrying about the table. A cheap plastic tablecloth is your best friend, followed by an old shirt of yours that can be used as a smock. Both of them are going to have paint on them, but you don't care, because you knew that ahead of time. Washable paint is a must, as is the paper plate (or egg carton, or recycled container lid) with small puddles of paint on it as a palette. My daughter enjoyed painting herself as much as the paper; my son couldn't stand the idea of dirty hands.
    We bought the IKEA easel, and my kids (7 and 10 now) have never used it, except as a chalkboard.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    California
    Posts
    22,684

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    I use an old muffin tin to hold small amounts of paint. DS wasn't too into painting. I will have to get the supplies again and let dd have a try.

    Catherine

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany
    Posts
    4,345

    Default

    Another mom who lets her artists go topless. I make sure I have time to throw them in the bath for a quick hose down afterwards. My dd likes to paint herself even with constant reminders to stick to the paper. If I don't have time for a spraydown afterwards then I have them use watercolors. The mess is much more manageable. To protect my surfaces I use drop mats from jaqjaqbird. Love them.

    Painting is so much fun with toddlers so definitely find a method you are comfortable with.
    AF wife and SAHM of three
    DS(2007.March) DD(2009.July) DS(2012.December)

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