|each child had his own try but later would share to get more colors|
DOES: a more active way to paint, sometimes less threatening to those who avoid mess on their hands, can be a very social way to make art.
INVEST: around $11
TOOLS: My Body Needs to Move, Express Yourself (new), Social Scene Helper
I love painting. I am no good at it but I love it very much. There is something very social about painting and that is appealing to me. I also love painting because you don't have to be sitting down to do it. And since my two boys don't even sit still to watch television, you can see how sitting down to paint might not be so ideal.
But here is what is ideal: paint rollers! Have you ever tried it? I have visited lots of parents' homes and lots of families have paints and brushes but rarely see homes with paint rollers. Why? Is it THAT messy?
I will not hide that. Rather, I will say that Number 2, who does not like messy and is the kind of kid that asks ME if he should wash his hands (not vice versa) would rather sit and do nothing than get his hands sticky or wet.
Everybody has quirks. My husband doesn't want to drink the last dribble of anything in his cup and I just found out that one of my son's teachers is the same way. I don't know what that is but at least for Number 2, I know that his big avoidance of getting his hands dirty is something called Sensory Processing Disorder. I am not going to explain it in detail here except to say that sensory processing issues are something you see in lots of people.
|Warning: access to lots of paint and freedom to move around can lead to such creative inspirations that leave you just speechless!|
I am one of those parents that still can't accept how my children could be such picky eaters when I can eat just about anything including live octopus! (Yes, I did! It was very small and covered in rich sesame oil. Don't think I stuck my face in the ocean and fished one out with my mouth.) But alas, here we are and while it is not imperative that my child paints, I just don't want him to miss out.
These rollers did the trick. First, you are not seated and therefore you are not trapped. If you feel scared about something, you always want to know where is the nearest exit. With rollers, you basically have the whole floor. We are lucky to have a part of our home where it is not carpeted at all. Here is where Numbers 1 and 2 go nuts with painting. Rollers kind of bring that out of a child.
I basically pull out the paint trays, let them (with guidance) fill each tray compartment with washable tempura paint and give them some big paper. They love it. And guess what? Number 2 gets messy and sometimes he gets so busy that he doesn't even get up to wash his hands or feet. If he does, I say go ahead but come right back so we can finish!
I put one paint roller in each tray compartment and sometimes a paintbrush too. I may have as many as 4 trays out (16 compartments) if they have friends over. Since they have been instructed not to mix colors, they have to wait their turn. (By the way, I think it is okay to mix colors as long as you get your own palette to mix the colors. And if someone comes over our house and mixes the colors, then they have to learn to be okay with that.) I love how social this activity is because it is the kind of thing you can work on together without getting into each other's way. Everyone has a brush in their hand so you basically have your own job. There is less social anxiety and your body has a chance to move around.
|I wasn't kidding about the subways. Somebody in this house likes them a lot.|
Read more about Sensory Processing Disorder:
- Comprehensive article at Child Mind Insitute
- Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation
- Sensory Planet (a community and more)
- SPD Blogger Network
- My article with ground-breaking researcher, Lucy Miller
- My second article with Lucy Miller because one was just not enough
Disclosure statement: Toys are Tools has not been compensated in any fashion for the publication of this post by the manufacturer or retailer of any of the products mentioned here .