Monday, July 26, 2010

Our Painting Box

Although one of our goals for the summer was to do more art projects, we still let this one slide quite a bit.  The problem with art is not that simply that it's messy.  I'm ok with the mess.   We have designated painting t-shirts, a vinyl tablecloth just for art projects, and everything washes off in the tub.  The problem is that it takes so long to gather all the materials, set them up on the table, then clean up and put everything away.  Oh, and did I mention that art time around here happens in the late afternoon before dinner?  The reason for that is it keeps them happy and occupied during the crazy time before dinner, but I just don't have time to do all of this on days when I'm also trying to cook.  I needed a solution.

Introducing the art box . . .

It contains everything we need (including the tablecloth, t-shirts, and old towels not shown here because they were using them) for any type of painting project.  We have another crate just for paints (yep, an entire crate full of paint), but I can pull what we need out of that and bring this straight to the table.  Ella can actually help set up while I'm getting other supplies if I need her to.  Even in a rush, I can grab the box, and they can paint with the cheap little watercolor trays.  Not my favorite, but they work for emergency art.  We do have some larger watercolor pads and sketchbooks that don't fit in the box, so those are up on the shelf above the box.  I just grab a couple sheets of what we need and carry them out with the box.  I'm very excited that we probably won't neglect art for an entire school year, and the kids definitely appreciate more painting time!


  1. You're a better person than I.

    I WANT to be the kind of person who loves painting and doing crafts with the kids, but I am just not. I spend enough of my life cleaning up after these people without actively setting them up to make more messes.

    Dang it. What a mean mommy. Maybe I'll try to do better.

  2. You are not a mean mommy at all for admitting that. For the record, I do not love it. And I actually loathe little kid crafts. Thank goodness for story time at the library, because otherwise the 2 yr old just isn't getting craft time. But turning them loose with brushes, paint, and paper . . . THAT I can handle. Some days.

  3. So cute! Have you had them do crayon resist yet? They love it and it is a real time-suck (yes, I'm a teacher and we do say that gleefully). I'm an art snob. I don't like the paper crafts where the kiddos cut and paste--I make my class save their "science glue" (bottled glue) for the end of the year gak project where we add borax and water and food coloring because I secretly deeply hate bottle glue :P

  4. Thanks! We haven't done that yet. I bought nice oil pastels and wanted to do a resist project with my oldest, but the 2 yr old makes short work of the expensive pastels. I'll have to give crayons a shot this fall instead.

    Ew, bottle glue is evil.

  5. Oh, wow - we have the same issues. Our art/music class also comes late in the afternoon, and even though our art and craft supplies all live in a cabinet in the corner of our (small, but functional) kitchen, we still find squeezing in an art lesson or craft project challenging!

    The art box sounds like a great idea. Mine are always asking to paint, too, so we may try a small version of the art box in our cabinet to see if we can make access to painting supplies a little easier.

  6. It seems to be a common problem, unless you're really the artsy type to begin with. I hope an art box helps you guys, too.


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