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Making Art

Paint With Water

Introducing Kids to Art

Two of my best friends recently had a baby girl, and I spent several days with their family snuggling the newborn, eating meals provided by friends and entertaining baby's almost 2-year-old big sister Lucy. Lucy has as much energy as you would expect from a playful toddler, but thankfully she's incredibly easy to entertain. (And just about the cutest thing you've ever encountered.)

Once she tired of flipping through a 400-page coloring book, naming all the animals pictured + mimicking the sounds they make (that giraffe is sure tricky), the little lady declared it was time to paint. I was mid-panic at the thought of controlling the projectile paint of a small human on leather furniture, when Lucy's mom pulled out her genius secret weapon - a chalkboard.

paint brush

Photo by Heather Linder

It turns out "painting" with water on a chalkboard is the perfect way to introduce small ones to art. The strokes of water showed up long enough to dazzle Lucy with the magic of making art yet dried quickly enough to leave no mess behind. It was the perfect way to inspire imagination and kill time before the afternoon nap. 

baby painting

Photo by Heather Linder

Several art books for kids provide activities to keep children's minds creating without the mess, including the series of "I Love Activity Books." I'm sure Lucy would have many minutes of fun with the "I Love Dogs" activity book since she and her hound dog Jenny are best friends. Hey, she's not even 2. Minutes are a long time.

How else do you let your kids get artsy without leaving behind major clean up?

Try this fun lesson for how to draw a puppy!

i love dogs draw

Learn to draw a Golden Retriever Puppy excerpted from I Love Dogs Activty Book

Heather Linder

Heather is a journalist and writer living in Chicago with her composer husband and art-loving puppy, Lancelot. She's on an endless quest for the city's best coffee and is endlessly inspired by Chicago's magnificent skyline. Heather is a bookworm, aspiring chef, and NPR fanatic. She's in the process of teaching her beagle to use a French press and overcoming her fear of DIY.

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