26 April 2007

Quick cleanup tips for paint-loving kids

There was a time when I firmly believed that craft paint of any sort had no place in my house. It's not that I'm a neat freak or anything, but the potential chaos was just too intimidating. I've gotten over my fear of the kid-paint combo, but it would have happened a lot sooner had I seen Shelley's great list of tips:

To make arts & crafts time fun for both of us -- messy for the little one and easier clean-up for me -- I do the following:

  • I cover the table with a garbage bag. Cut open the garbage bag along 3 edges and then lay it on the table and tape it down. When you' re done, just untape, roll up the mess and throw it away.
  • I add a little dish soap to paint and stir. Even in washable paint, it makes for easier cleanup, even off of clothes.
  • When using easels, I first pour the paint into Ziploc baggies and then seal them into the paint containers. You don't have to clean the containers every time and the paint lasts longer because you can just zip it up and put it away until you are ready to paint again.
  • Now for the easel itself. Ours doubles as a whiteboard and a place to paint. So, to keep the whiteboard clean and usable I cover it with aluminum foil. We use the easel more for painting, so the foil usually stays for on for a long time. I also foil the tray that holds the paint.

Now, when craft time is over, my cleanup is minimal, and all I have to do is toss my kids in the bath!

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Now that some nicer weather is finally here, we take our easel outside for painting. It makes clean up a breeze.

The dish soap idea sounds like GENIUS.

Love the ziplock idea + no-mess containers.
We put a shower curtian liner from hte dollar store on our table for crafts. Its big enough to cover our 70 inch table, paint wipes up and when it gets too gross - I don't feel bad about throwing it away.

On the dollar store theme, we buy the disposable plastic table cloths for a dollar and toss them when they are gross :) Even cheaper, cut the table cloth in half as they are already so large and too make it festive buy different colours or patterns!

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