Rainy Days Don't Have To Drive You Crazy!
If you are a mama bear like me, you dread rainy days! My two toddlers love being outdoors and I love that the fresh air tires them out and guarantees a nap. So when mother nature decided to play a cruel joke and unleash a torrential downpour that impacts everyone's personal mood and extinguishes any hope of a mom's sanity, you become desperate for activities that keep your toddlers busy. (Especially if said toddler is busy long enough for mama to write!)
Art has always been my go to rainy day project for obvious reasons. It took me a while to embrace the mess these little hurricane's seem to create on a daily basis but once I did, I have never been disappointed in what has happened. The whole "create memories that last, how clean your home is doesn't matter as much" is so true! With my anxiety this was particularly difficult because having a messy home contributes to my stress level. Thankfully, I have worked on letting go of a few things that normally I would HAVE TO HAVE PERFECT in order to relax. One of those, was cleaning. (That is a story for a different post)
It is my belief that kids NEED to be messy to learn. I think we all can obsess over germs, foods, etc. when really all our little kiddos need to do is explore the world around them. As I am typing this, I hear my mother thinking "OH, YOU HYPOCRITE!" because while we lived with them last year, I went crazy with cleaning. But now that I am more sane and our lives are back to normal-ish, I have become more comfortable with the idea of mess.
Art on a rainy day (metaphorically AND literally) promotes focus, discovery and most importantly FUN.
-Mil Art Mom
Anyhoo, on to the fun part! (and actual point to this post), I call this "Rainy Day Car Painting!" Leo knows that rainy days are when we ALL get to create. Today, I finally took out the mini canvas' I had been saving as well as the finger paints. I covered the table with Dollar Store packing paper and unleashed the beasts! Leo was in heaven. Lily lasted about two minutes before accidentally eating "blue" and discovering it tastes disgusting and she was a mess.
It's always fun to watch my kiddos experiment with different every day brushes. I gave them straws, plastic forks, paint brushes, and plastic spoons with tin foil on them. Take a minute to think about the different strokes you can get from these things I found in my junk drawer. Think about how you can push a bendy straw, blow through the straw, or make circles in the paint. Think about how shiny the tin foil is, the different texture, and how cool of shape you can mold it into. Everything I described was what I just watched happen with my almost three year old.
He then ran and grabbed his beloved car (as I held my breath praying to God that he didn't touch anything in the living room) and made roads on the canvas! It was amazing to watch him explore and we learned our colors in the process. I also always make my kids pick up after themselves. A family friend who is really like a second mother and who works in the education field with toddlers offered some advice that has really helped: first, then statements. As in "first we paint, then we clean up" or "first we put our shoes on, then we go outside." This has worked wonders with us and saved us A LOT of potential meltdowns. Short, sweet and to the point. (Thank you, Robz!!!)
Everyday I have to work on letting go of my anxiety and need to have things in their place. It is a constant struggle and mental work to make sure that I am emotionally aware of my limits/failures/stressors so that I can be there emotionally for my kiddos. I want my children to learn to be emotionally sound and have the tools that they need to cope with their emotions. Art on a rainy day (metaphorically AND literally) promotes focus, discovery and most importantly FUN.