Let them paint!

I've been working on a free, public calendar of events for Oahu called Itsy Bitsy Time.  My sister owns it but I've been maintaining it.  On the first Saturday of every month Home Depot's across the US hold a free kids workshop where kids get to hammer, glue and paint to create their own project!  I've been taking Caytlynn since she was three (she's four now).  Since Chris is working I thought I'd take all the kids down and just see how it went.  

We arrive at about 9:30 am and I wanted to go in the store to buy mulch, which I saw was on sale but I forgot to bring my envelope with cash so we just headed straight into the workshop.  More on cash budgeting to come :) I grabbed a shopping cart, put all the kids inside and off we went!  First step, registration and aprons for the kiddos.

 This is the best picture I had, it's hard to get three kids to sit still!

This is the best picture I had, it's hard to get three kids to sit still!

I scrambled to help the kids assemble their dry erase boards.  AJ and CJ immediately picked up hammers and started swinging...and not only at nails.  

 Look at him go!

Look at him go!

While the twins set about damaging stuff I helped Caytlynn make the frame of her board then allowed her to attach the back by herself.  She did great!  I then occupied the boys by teaching them to hold the nails in the pocket of they apron while I assembled their frames.  I started the nails in the back and let the boys hammer a bit before I finished it off for them.  Then it was off to the paint!

 Sorry about your old shirt honey, I'm sure it will wash out!

Sorry about your old shirt honey, I'm sure it will wash out!

All the kids had so much fun painting!  I brought stools for the twins so they could reach and everyone painted happily for at least 20 minutes.  Best. Thing. Ever.  Mommy pretty much sat back and watched.  

There was another little boy next to us.  I couldn't figure out what he was doing there because he had nothing to paint! So he began painting the table, the paper with instructions, and occasionally reached over and painted AJ's project. Then I realized his parent had taken his project and was painting it for him!  My heart was sad for this little boy who obviously wanted so badly to paint but could not. 

 Let your kids paint!  Let them make a mess.  Try not to let them eat the paint, or mix the red paint with the white (whoops).  But don't worry if it gets all over them!  Flashback: "Cody don't eat that!  No boys, don't paint your arms!"

It is a learning experience!  They are learning fine motor control, what happens when colors mix, and are being creative! Does it really matter if your kids' project looks "perfect"? What are you going to do with it when you get home anyways?  

One hour later, everyone gets back into the shopping cart and we head back to the car.

 We are mostly clean. (I make a mental note to wash their hair tonight.)  

We are all smiling.  


My next post will be about what we did with our projects!