Hello! I’m Helen, Mum to Peakles my four year old daughter. Peakles and I have been crafting, learning, playing and I write about it on our blog called Peakle Pie.

We love playing and we love creating things from the books that have inspired us! Over the past year we have made lots of colourful sculptures, painted pictures and made up our own games too. Peakles is very proud of what we do and will tell everybody she can that she is Peakle Pie!

I try to maintain that ‘hands on’ feel with our site and Peakles is involved with every craft and activity featured.

Peakles (my daughter) and I often like to just play with paint – we call them our Paint Dates! We do lots of arts and crafts projects where we have a ‘finished’ item in mind at home but sometimes it is great just to let her have a ‘play’ too. It may seem like she is not learning but I am a great believer in learning through exploration and play. Peakles has proved this during many Paint Dates when she has explored different painting techniques such as dabbing and paint mixing directly on the paper!

Pin Paints. 5 Top 5 tips for messy creative fun

Here are our top 5 tips for a fun Paint Date!

BE PREPARED!

Cover your floor – use newspapers or a cheap shower curtain.

Go outside – if it is warm then why not take the fun and mess outside and get some fresh air!

Cover up – use old clothes plus wear an apron or an old shirt with the sleeves rolled up.

Keep clean – have some water, sponge and old towel to hand to keep hands clean.

Materials to hand – keep your paints, papers and painting sponges, brushes etc. to hand.

KEEP THEM ENGAGED

Introduce new things – give glitter, new paints, papers etc. half way through your paint session for renewed enthusiasm.

Over compensate – if you think you will need four sheets of paper have ten to hand!  This keeps small ones engaged without you having to go and look for more or stop the activity.

Hands on – you may need to demonstrate how to play with the paint first, especially if they have not had many opportunities to have messy paint play before.

Hands off – allow children some freedom to explore with the paint.  Try not to correct them but encourage instead.

Paint Date Collage

HAVE FUN

Sing songs – this can be a great way to keep the fun factor going.  The sillier the song the better!

Switch off – ditch the phone, camera or TV and just enjoy watching them have fun.

TIDY UP

Make tidying up part of the fun – choose somewhere to let the pictures dry together.

Washing out the brushes – this can be a great activity watching how the water runs clean.

Clearing up – make it into a game!  Try tidying up by colour e.g. all the red things first, all the blue things next etc.

DISPLAY AND TALK

Make a gallery – set up an art gallery of your child’s work by pinning to the wall or pegging onto a wash line.

Ask questions – ask your child what they liked, how they did something, why they used certain colours etc. and remember to listen to their answers.  I always find the answers Peakles gives are quite novel and surprising.

Plan another paint date – get your calendar or diary out and book in another paint date soon!

We hope that these top 5 tips will help you feel confident in having a Paint Date with your little one and also that you will have as much fun as we did too! Thank you to In the Playroom for giving us the chance to share this with you today!

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Helen blogs at peaklepie.com and you can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google +