I'm Tammy. 

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    Messy Art With Kids

    Doing messy art with kids prepares them for independence at an early age. Kids get used to keeping the creative process in a designated spot, be it the kitchen or a specific area. When they are very young, they watch you clean up. Describe what you are doing and try to make clean-up fun too. I used to sit the kids on the kitchen counter to wipe their painted faces. The mess is part of the process. If you gripe too much, they may start avoiding messy art.

    DSC00841%20Large%20e-mail%20view.jpgAs they become toddlers they can clean with you side-by-side, washing brushes together in a sink of soapy water. They can put paint containers back in a big box. Kids gradually learn to clean up independently if they take an active role. It will simply become part of creating art. 


    At 6 and 8, my daughters have the process down. They know that clay and wet projects need to happen in the kitchen at a table that we bring in from an adjacent room. They know how to clean brushes, to spray the table with soap & water and wipe with old towells.

    Most other projects are done at the breakfast room table. The breakfast room has a window ledge full of clear boxes which contain art supplies that are used daily. These include plain and patterned paper, glue, tape, stapler, scissors, sets of markers (ultra-thin Sharpies, Papermate markers, colored pencils), rulers, plus boxes for each kid to stash flat work-in-process, coloring books, notebooks, journals, anything they use to create art or write stories. For projects with small components, such as beads, the kids grab a metal loaf pan or cake pan from the pantry, or use plastic storage containers, to keep the mess from falling all over the floor. Our dog likes to eat beads, very crunchy. When they start a project, they get out all of the materials and set up the work space, similar to the way they do tasks at school.

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