Tips and Tricks for Art at Home

Yes Space

If you are going to set your child loose with glue and paint and other messy things you are probably going to want to prepare for the inevitable mess that will ensue. I call this creating a “Yes space” because it helps me get into a more open frame of mind that invites the spills, drips, drops and messes that come with the creative process.

In our house there is a clear plastic vinyl table cloth on our dining room table at all times!
This is because my teenage daughter is a painter and is known to get paint on everything.

We also have an abundance of drop cloths which are actually her old canvas paintings from when she was a child. These go under chairs where they are sitting or under fresh canvases if they are working on the floor.

Having a damp face cloth handy helps keep clothes clean because your little one will have somewhere to wipe their fingers that isn’t on their pants or shirt! This one takes a little bit of training and reminders at first and requires you to make it an important part of your set up.

While we don’t often use them in our house an apron or a smock can also help save clothes from paint messes. We opt for a paint t-shirt instead….

If my little is going to be doing art I generally insist on a t-shirt so that sleeves don’t get in the way. I’ve very often seen a dragging sleeve ruin a child’s hard work much to their disappointment. So roll up those sleeves, take off the sweater or ditch them all together and swap it for a t-shirt.

White Glue

I always water down glue when offering it to preschoolers and kindergarteners. About 1 part water to 3 parts glue keeps the glue sticky enough to work quickly but fluid enough that children can spread it with a little more ease than pure white glue.

Using a big fluffy paint brush for glue projects is just plain fun and is another opportunity for your child to learn how to properly use a paint brush.

White glue is water soluble so if your brush gets wrecked and dries out don’t panic! Just leave it in a cup of water for a few hours and then wash as normal.

Glue Sponge

This is an idea that made the rounds a few years back and was wildly popular, for good reason.
It’s super simple. Take a clean sponge and put it in a small container that seals well. Fill the bottom of the container with about 0.5cm of glue. Dampen the sponge and put it in the container. Pour more glue on top of the sponge. Close the lid and let sit overnight. Done.

No more glue messes.

If your sponge gets a little dry just spray with water. Add more glue as needed and keep it on the damp side.

Check out this super helpful video from Kindergarten Smorgasboard for more tips.