The broccoli trees that is. I sometimes trace the chain of events that leads me to those moments when I wonder, "What was I thinking?" Four children covered in paint, engaged in a water fight with the garden hose - this was the product of one of my bright ideas: using broccoli as stamps to paint trees. I was pleased with the initial results and I wanted to experiment more, but with four kids needing more paint, paper and water to clean their brushes, my personal paint session was cut short.
Here's our neighbor painting a picture of his school. I guess he's done with summer too. He wasn't interested in adding any broccoli trees.
Painting is one of the few things I miss about sending my kids to school. Aidan and Avery's preschool had a fully stocked and always open paint station where both children produced masterpieces which I didn't need to clean up after. I wish I enjoyed painting at home with my kids, but to tell the truth, kids with paint scare me. Their behavior becomes highly unpredictable when they have a stain producing wand in hand. I'll gladly sew, knit, weave, cook, cut, paste and color with my kids, but can't they paint at the neighbor's house?
In an attempt to encourage all forms of art in our home, I make an effort to get out the painting supplies on occasion, and seek interesting alternatives to paint when possible. For example, Aidan became very interested in writing with quills, like Harry Potter. So we gathered feathers found on walks and used blackberry juice from the bottom of our berry picking basket to write and paint. It was fun, smelled good, and easy to clean up.
My neighbor recommended another fun alternative to paint: disappearing art. Give the kids paint brushes and a bucket of water and set them loose outside. They can "paint" the house or the sidewalk and watch their wet masterpieces disappear as they dry. No mess whatsoever, though you might take pictures so they can see their art later.
Sometimes there is no alternative to plain old paint. Here's the big picture, the forest if you will: sometimes being creative is messy, and what a sweet mess artists make.