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I am sure most of you ladies have heard about Do A Dot Paint Markers. They are magical. They let you feel like a good mother who lets her children experiment with paint without the stress and mess of actual paint. Magic right. I would highly recommend one set of these pretties be in every art shelf. Link Here. They are a bit pricy but last FOREVER. Mine made it through and entire preschool year and are still going strong. Plus can you really put a price on less mess?
This set up is an open ended art activity. I have no finished product I’m hoping for, and no guidelines. I just put the paint down in front of my child and let them get busy.
We are lucky because daddy brings home large pieces of paper from work for the girls to craft on. Little miss got right to work.
TIP: I found it is easiest to tape down the corners of paper when my 2 year old is working on it. This helps keep the paper on the table and cuts back on the frustration that bumping the paper creates.
TIP: These are fairly mess free HOWEVER a good strong JAB can cause the paint to splatter a bit. My girl just needed a few reminders to be soft with her paints so they don’t brake. Just to be safe I did throw a little apron on her.
I have learned from experience that the paint markers (I am having a really hard time figuring out what to call these things!) get worn down faster if the children use them like a marker, pulling them across the paper. They will last a lot longer if they are only used as dots. That being said, my set I bought a year ago haven’t always been used properly but they are still functioning great, I can just tell that some of the pads are shorter than the others.
Here is the magic of open ended art. My big girl had made a staircase out of orange. I asked her where it lead. She told me it was a tricky staircase and people fell off of it! I asked her what they fell into? She then excitedly told me about a waterfall/slide and a ladder to get out of the pool at the end. I asked her what it looked like because all I saw was white. That is all it took. She thought she was done with her picture until we started talking and what was an 8 minute activity quickly turned into a 25 minute activity. (She also discovered that when her yellow touched the blue it changed colors! A little science anyone?)
I think I like these so much because children have to slow down. There is no quick sweeping motion and the whole page is covered in color. They have to concentrate and take their time to make what they want.
At the clean up time my 2 year old became completely enthralled in finding the right lids for the right color. It was adorable and turned into a whole new activity!
Just another reminder that my child is capable of more than I know. I just need to get out of the way and let them make mistakes AND discoveries. It is so easy to do things for them, because I’m faster, cleaner, more efficient, not easily frustrated, also I’m rather controlling (this list could go on and on). I have to mentally tell myself to get out of their way and let my babies do things for themselves and I am always so surprised by them, and a little frightened. What else have I been taking over that they could do and learn for themselves? Does anyone else have this fear, daily? Well I am getting completely distracted.
Summary: Do A Dot Markers rock, easy clean up, open ended and don’t do the clean up for them because they can put their own dang lids on MOM!