You know when your child has completed a tiny masterpiece on that form that you just spent two hours completing? Ya - that one. Little dude is jumping up and down excited to show you what he’s just done for you and so, so very proud of his newly discovered artistic ability…you are too…other than the fantastic location of said artwork.
Some little artists are chomping at the bit to get out, while others cannot even control their creative urges, leaving you cleaning up the aftermath. Why not encourage the little artist within your child by organizing some time that the two (or three, or four..) of you can spend getting your colour on? Even the kids that don’t seem to be interested in artsy fartsy activities will be excited about getting a bit messy and painting some rocks.
Just the other day, my children had pretty much had it up to here with me barking orders at them and were acting like a bunch of little A-holes. Now, I’m not saying if your kids are being jerks you should reward them by doing crafts and junk but I am saying that sometimes it can be helpful to stop and gain control of what they're getting into. I find that organized crafts during times like these work wonders because otherwise I just spend my day chasing after them, picking up all stuff the little hurricanes leave in their wake. So needless to say, we painted some rocks.
This is how we did it:
- The first thing that we did was gear up and get outside. That’s right, we went on a rock hunt. It was excellent because it burned a little bit of energy for them, got them some fresh air, and gave them a sense of pride in the rocks they were painting since those rocks were lovingly, hand-picked by each of the kids.
- Once their pants were falling down from the weight of the rocks in their pockets, we filled up the kitchen sink with warm soapy water and they each washed their very special rocks with a sponge. Now I have three kids and only two different colours of sponges so you know they fought about that briefly, but honestly they spent nearly half an hour just washing the rocks! I debated even offering to paint the rocks, they were so busy playing in the sink!
- Because it is summer, also thank goodness it is summer, we painted outside. i took their little lego table out back and covered it with a table cover, set out a few palettes of paint, some water and paint brushes and away they went.
- Clean up was as easy as trashing the table cover, washing the palettes and brushes since we used paper cups for water and had handy dandy little painting aprons to protect their gear. Hand washing was just as much fun and burned up as much time as they’d spent washing the rocks. By the time it was all said and done we had put in a solid two hours of focused creative time together and lunchtime was just around the corner to boot!
When your kids are being nuts and you need to find something to do with them, I would highly recommend trying an activity like painting rocks. You will go an adventure hunting for rocks, spend time caring for the rocks you worked so hard to find, spend time being artsy and working the creative side of your brains and it will only take a couple hours away from your chores. At least its a couple of hours that the children will not spend destroying your house and the next time those monkeys won’t get off your back you can simply hand them a marker and tell them to turn their very special rocks into pets by drawing faces on them. That should keep them entertained for a solid half hour.