Ava (16 months) LOVES to paint. Man oh man, that girl is into all things arty; the messier, the better. Only one small hitch. I hate the clean up. With Eden (3 1/2 years), no problem! She's super neat, so clean up is always minimal. On the other hand, you could give Ava a thimble-full of paint and five minutes later she would have it all over herself, the couch, your clothes, your keys, the fridge and the curtains - that is, if she didn't eat it straight away.
Solution? A Paint Bag!
Simply squeeze some non-toxic paint into a ziplock bag, seal with masking tape/duct tape and you're ready to go!
I like to put a couple of colours in the bag, so Ava can smush them around and watch the colours change as she mixes them. If she chooses not to mix them? Well, it still looks pretty!
As an experiment, I added a few drops of water to the bag, thinking it would help the paint spread around more readily. It did not! It just made little mini puddles in the bag. Ah well! Next time maybe I'll drop a bit of linseed oil in or some other paint medium.
Also, when I used to do this activity with Eden she would try to open the ziplock seal, so I made sure I taped it well and truly closed this time. However, Ava was not interested in opening the seal. After about fifteen minutes of play, she found a fun new game called 'Let's rip holes in the bag'! Yay! *Twitch, twitch* Memo to self: double bag, double tape.
I gave Ava a dry paintbrush and she thought it was fantastic fun to 'paint' on the bag. The pressure of the brush on the bag creates negative-space lines, which is something she has not done a lot of before.
This activity ticks all the boxes for us: a simple, cheap, mess-less (unless your tot's like Ava) way to keep little ones busy for a while, which incidentally is heaps of fun for them. We'll do this again soon... double bag, double tape, double bag, double tape...
Thanks for reading! ~ L.