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Old 11-02-2011, 09:55 AM
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melskids melskids is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 1,767

I have my art set up just like crystal.

I've said it once before, and I'll say it again....if I could get rid of every single other toy in my house and turn the whole thing into an art studio, I would do it in a heart beat! Art is my THAAAAANG LOL

We start EARLY. By 6 months old they are fingerpainting with REAL fingerpaint. It's non toxic, and I guarantee they're only gonna taste it once. They are in their highchair, and I give them SMALL amounts to start. Same with the homemade playdough, crayons, etc.

By having the materials accessible everyday, and modeling appropriate behavior CONSTANTLY, its not so much of a big deal to them. Its not taboo. The kids know its there, they know how to use it, and they know how to take care of the area. By two years old, I can completely trust them if I walk away for a minute to do something else.

I am alone with 6 kids too. 10 when the SA are here. They don't all choose the art area at the same time, (other areas are open, and because of size restrictions of my home, it can only accomodate 2, maybe 3 at a time anyway) so its not like I have half a dozen kids running wild throughout the house armed with paintbrushes and glue bottles. Paint is out everyday, and no one even bothered with choosing it this morning.

It IS alot of work at first to get them in the "groove" , but in the end, to me, its well worth the effort. My kiddos are all so creative, and produce beautiful art that is individual to their personalities and self expression. No two pieces EVER look the same, and I LOVE that!

BTW, my art area is right next to my couch, and no one has painted on it yet
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