The next sumer activity packet hubby pulled out for the boys was Fence Painting. Now, that doesn't mean painting the fence (which is good, since, well, the fences in our backyard actually belong to our neighbors). Basically, what we did was put the boys in swim suits (do you see a pattern here?), duct tape a long piece of paper to one of the fences, give them tempera paint and several brushes and let them do what they did. Which is paint the paper, paint each other, and eat paint.
Only baby E ate the paint. Well, I think only he did. Although, honestly, I wouldn't put it past the kid, after seeing E do it, to also try. It was, btw, the first thing E did. The ensuing diaper the following day was... uh... colorful. After a mouthful, he looked at the kid, and then stuck the brush dripping with blue paint in the kid's hair. Only then did he decide to put some on the paper.
I'd like you to take a moment to guess who stayed engaged with this activity longer. My 6yo or my 20mon old? You'd think it'd be the 6yo, right? But, no, not so much. He was all in to it and painted a ton. For about 20 minutes. Then he was off running around the yard, mostly playing in the other "center" hubby had set up (basically a tarp, with several containers of different sizes filled with water - the boys love this activity. Bonus? It was a great way to wash off a lot of that paint). Baby E, on the other hand, stood there painting (and eating/tasting) for every bit of 45min..
I engaged both boys in conversation about how to make different colors, the different ways the paint looked on the paper based on which brushes (or body parts) they used, how the amount of water on the brush affected the paint and colors, the different shapes/lines they were creating, etc... They mixed colors in the egg carton (perfect for paint holding!) and on themselves/each other.
I'd say this was a successful activity and one we'll do again.
Today's Lesson: Kids have such a way of seeing the world. They don't see the rules and boundaries that we, as adults do. While this is (seriously!) infuriating for me as a parent at times, when art comes into play, it becomes so obvious how this is a good thing. Now, to find a way to help them balance that...