by mamaschmama


I went to my son’s preschool orientation last week and after calming all the (parental) first-timers down, the principal said “Put down the damn i-devices and give your kid a freakin’ marker.”  Well, basically that’s what she said.  On cue, lots of the parents squirmed in their seats because markers are messy and annoying to clean up.

As are paints.

And tape.

And scissors.

And glitter.

I am guilty of avoiding certain activities with my kids because they are annoying to me but art is something I do every day.  I do pinterest-y projects with them only occasionally because I don’t like to make anything too complicated. Just like everything else, when something gets too complicated,  it’s too hard to keep up and then it becomes, you know, another thing to avoid.  So, our art is simple and it is done because it is fun and necessary. (Google the necessary part, you’ll come up with a frazillion hits that will explain the reasons better than I can.)


Pinterest-y Thanksgiving Banner by me and the 1 yo (4 yo reluctantly added about 5 beaks and 2 turkey legs)

We Do Art every day after breakfast.  I clear the table and ask the kids for their ideas. Today, we got out crayons and some coloring sheets we got for free at a train exhibit.  Lately, my 4 yo tells me he doesn’t want to Do Art because he’s LEGO obsessed now that he uses the little LEGOS.  However, as soon as he sees the materials, he abandons whatever he’s making and comes over to create.

Sometimes they make really awesome things and I frame them and stare at them lovingly because they are the physical manifestation of my child’s genius.


Yes. This Gingerbread Man/ crime scene is framed and hanging in my living room.

And other times, I kinda shuffle them to the side and toss them once the kids move on to another activity.


They’re not all keepers but notice what my 1 yo was figuring out how to do.

I keep all our art supplies in a box in our living room.  The kids don’t go in the box by themselves because I’m an evil witch and I’m stunting their personal growth.  I also don’t want them to poke their eye out with a paintbrush.

These are the contents of our art box:

Markers, crayons, glue, glue sticks, glitter glue, colored glitter glue, tape glorious tape, tempera paint, paintbrushes, stickers, scissors, fancy scissors (cut wavy/zig zag lines), paper, buttons, foam crap, magazines, play dough, and googly eyes.

Did I mention glue?

I collected supplies we already had and I replenished a few from the sales bins at craft stores and the dollar racks at Target.

When we first started with the box, I introduced all the supplies to them over a week or so because I’m a control freak and I wanted them to see all their options and have a rudimentary idea of what they could do.  (Note:  My kids have had their hands on art stuff since I could trust them not to eat it.  The Box and our daily routine is only a few months old.) Then, I asked them what they wanted to do or my 4 yo would tell me what he wanted to make and we discussed what he could use to make it.

“I want to make Aaron Rodgers and Clay Matthews.”

“Me too.  Ahem.  I mean, let’s use construction paper, markers, scissors, and glue for that


A Rodg

Since we started “doing art” every day, the 1 yo is better at recognizing her colors and using her fine motor skills and my son has started writing letters and numbers and drawing people rather than just scrabbling on the page.

So, back to the squirming, yes.  I occasionally get paint on my sweater that I was going to wear to storytime, dammit. I’ve also had to wipe marker off my son’s face


but it is worth it.  So worth it that I wanted to share it with you today in case you’re one of the squirmers or if you have other ideas of how we could enhance our daily routine.

One more super awesome benefit of “doing art” every day?  I get 15-20 more minutes of coffee drinking time before we’re off and running.


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