I first published this post in April of 2020. Reading it truly brings me back to those days - difficult, and long, but my children were babies and I will cherish those moments and the joy I found in them.
Even though I am an artist and a mom, it took the COVID-19 pandemic for me to combine those two worlds. My favorite alone time is when I’m painting. Coloring is my meditation, I find art to be a major relaxation tool. I am also beyond delighted when my kids come home from daycare with their own art projects. It dawned on me the first week of quarantine that I never make art with my kids, besides a couple of “You’re 8 months old let’s finger paint” failures. To be fair, they are only 3.5 and 1.5 years old, so this is the perfect time for this realization.
Week 1 of quarantine I acted like a nut job and ordered a huge box of Crayola markers, 3 types of paint, a stack of construction paper. A tie dye kit, fabric paint, glitter, glue sticks, toddler scissors. Yes, you heard all of that right. Also yes, the tie dye and fabric paints might be for me. Getting all these art supplies in the mail felt like my birthday!
Fast forward 5 weeks of staying at home with my crazy toddlers and I have fully leaned into making art with them every day. It brings me so much joy! In the spirit of World Art Day, I’m excited to share my favorite art projects plus some #artmom tips and tricks that I quickly figured out.
SUPPLIES + TIPS
- Melissa and Doug roll art paper is the best. I tape it to cover the entire kitchen table to prevent any yelling about coloring on the table. Liam moves around seat by seat to fill up the white paper. He likes when all the supplies are in the middle so he can choose where he wants to start. Toddlers choice always prompts a good mood.
- This sounds like a no brainer but Crayola washable markers are a must. If you think it’s ok to use something else you’ll regret it when the marker ends up on the kids faces, their clothes, your walls…
- When the paper on your table is saturated in paint and starting to rip because its too thin, I layer on a piece of construction paper to be painted on. The cool part about this is that when you’re done and it dries, you have a collage.
- I use the bar in my laundry room with pant hangers as my dry station. This felt genius to me when I figured it out. In my house it’s high up so the kids can’t reach!
- Don’t forget to teach your kids about washing their brushes after, and storing them flat or bristles in the air. (I keep a little plastic tray with a paper towel on it next to the sink).
- These days in “Mommy School” we have a letter of the day which is how I determine our art projects. This week we covered the letter “S” which had so many words, we made an S banner. It was so much fun for all of us! I drew some of the outlines in marker and Liam painted them in, and some of the words he just painted on his own. As soon as it dried I added it to my new gallery wall.
- My inspiring friend Misha made this amazing Dinosaur habitat this week with her kids. She’s a health coach, and a mama to three littles. She said the Dino Habitat actually felt meditative to create, and she’s the expert in that area! Check out her Dino Habitat below, so awesome. Looks like some of the dinosaurs are missing - Misha, did they escape the park?!
- Liam is really into cutting and gluing, so we like to use our construction paper and make collages. He practices “making confetti” (literally little cuts over and over – yes my nightmare - oh well) While I cut out the big shapes (like a sun, a flower, etc.). He then gets free reign to glue and position our pieces where he wants them. Finishing touches are that he colors on top of the collage, and sometimes adds stickers. Then he asks to put his confetti in a Tupperware for later. Ha!
- Another idea from Pamela Pekerman, Founder of Hustle Like a Mom, is to turn a cardboard box into a TV. This is next on my list! She used a box, paint sticks, pipe cleaners for the antenna, and ta-da! Pamela said this TV was made over 2 years ago in a snow storm. Clearly it's worth keeping for future kid's talk shows and stuffed animal acts!
These are just a few examples of how we’ve been creative over here in the past couple months. If nothing else I have certainly learned to give up control, accept the mess, and let the kids take the lead. Oh, and just like the mood swings of a toddler changing every 20 min? Don’t be upset if 20 minutes into painting they’re onto the next activity! I’d love to see what art projects you’re up to – take pics and tag me or email them to me at email@example.com.