I Let the Kids Fingerpaint the House


I hate fingerpaint.

For this reason, it might surprise you to learn that this happened yesterday:

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This happened because I’m in the middle of doing a back-to-school house reorganization and I found a big basket of fingerpaints that I had purchased in a fit of wanting the children to be happy creative people. Unfortunately, the fingerpaints had only ever come out once or twice because my kids like to fingerpaint on paper less than they like to squish the paint between their fingers and then run their hands through their hair. They also have a six minute attention span when it comes to things like this, even though it takes a combined hour to set everything up and then clean everyone off. Not a great trade on our time.

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So, knowing that the kids like to paint but also realizing that my mom brain would shout NOOOOOO at the thought of pulling those paints out all year, I decided to let them have one great paint bonanza where we could use up all the fingerpaints at once so we can stick to watercolor and paint pens for the rest of the year.

A great paint bonanza calls for a really big canvas, which is how the picture window in the playroom got involved.

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I will say that Crayola fingerpaints clean up easily whether you’re talking about faces, clothing, or windows so I wasn’t worried about the mess. I did ask them to try to keep the paint off the porch rug, away from the brick, and out of their hair but they completely ignored me as is expected.

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Eva was the big painter of the day, making rainbows and exploring how the colors change when you mix them together. She also liked making different patterns in the paint with her fingers and spent a lot of time just making swirls.

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Calvin, on the other hand, spent 30 seconds painting and then occupied himself as the official paint mixologist for the rest of the time. He squeezed the paint into cups and blended the colors together to make a large assortment of browns for his sister.

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This paint is temporary, since it started to crack and flake as soon as it dried. If I went out there with a bucket of water (or, probably, just a dry sponge) the whole window would be clean in just a few minutes. As it is, though, I’m sort of enjoying the stained glass effect it has had on our playroom. Maybe this is an option for reclaiming a bit of privacy in our play area since I gave the curtains the boot last year. We’d have to pick a different kind of paint, of course, but I know the kids would be excited about having another crack at the window.


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And as for the children, a quick dip in the tub took care of all the paint (even the paint that was used as hair gel) and an hour of intense art activity mellowed them out for the rest of the day. If I didn’t hate fingerpaint so much, this might have to be a monthly tradition…


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Preschool Activity: Letting the Kids Fingerpaint the House

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