This is the second in a series of periodic posts in which I test out easy, low-mess, low-parental-involvement activities for young children to do. In the first, I tested, um, dry pasta in cake pans. Today’s somewhat more promising test: using paintbrushes (instead of the included water pens) with Aquadoodle mats.
The children will paint using water, and therefore satisfying their painting instincts without making me crazy with THE PAINT THE PAINT MY GOD IT’S EVERYWHERE
- one paintbrush per child
- one cup of water (half an inch of water in the cup) per child
- one Aquadoodle mat per child (this is close to the one we have; the painting area separates into six squares, so we have enough for each kid to have one)
Two minutes, which included digging through the Kitchen Junk Drawer for paintbrushes (it would have been less than a minute if I hadn’t had to do so MUCH digging)
Time activity lasted before someone was whining again
So long, I lost track. An hour?
Parental assistance required
Set-up, plus periodic leaving the computer to admire their work and settle an argument over whose paintbrush was better, plus help putting mats in the window to dry
Low: they could have spilled their cups of water, but it was only 1/2 inch of it, and they didn’t spill it; there were a few water spatters on the table and one long thin stream of water down the hallway (see below, under Unexpected Complications)
One minute: paintbrushes into dish-drying rack, water dumped in sink, Aquadoodle mats cast aside to dry
Child over-painted a mat, so that water was running off it in streams; he then carried it to another room to show me, with the water continuing to stream off
I’ll find more mats (we have a total of six….somewhere), so they can keep painting even when one mat is filled up