Control Freak Methods for Toddler Painting Time

Control Freak Methods for Toddler Painting Time

I like things neat and orderly. I don’t like mess or dirty hands. While this isn’t always achievable with four kids around, I do try to instill as much pick up after yourself as much as I can. Admittedly, I’m a bit of a control freak. This becomes challenging when it comes to art exploration.

I love painting and creative expression and encourage my kids to be creative as much as I can. I appreciate art as an outlet and as simply a fun activity. Especially during the summer, I want to pause to enjoy artistic activities whenever we can. As a mom who really values paint staying in one place (and not all over my table, floor and walls), I have figured out a few guidelines to keep painting fun, yet manageable.

Painting Activity Tips for Control Freaks

  1. Establish a painting area and protect the table/floor with a large utility garbage bag or plastic drop cloth. This is the painting zone and no paint or supplies can leave the area.
  2. Set some guidelines for your little artist. I ask my toddler to sit down (no walking around) and to stay on the plastic bag. He can spread paint as much as he wants within the bag area.
  3. One paint color at a time. This is especially helpful for avoiding spills and keeping brushes clean. We select one paintbrush and one color. Then wash and dry it before moving to the next color. A paper plate can also be helpful for mixing paint colors and keeping brushes in between colors.
  4. Washable paints are a must! This 3-pack by Crayola includes 18 colors and boasts “Washability You Can Trust!” Rinsing brushes was super easy with water, and hands washed clean with a little soap.
  5. Have paper towels or baby wipes nearby for wiping paint drips, cleaning hands, and drying off brushes.
  6. Set a time limit. Sometimes little ones get bored with the actual painting and that’s when the big messes get started. Limit painting time to 20-30 minutes or whatever your child can stay focused and handle.

Enjoy the process even if it’s not the most manageable activity in your week! Kids deserve to have fun, be creative, and make messes. (It just helps to have things a tiny bit more under control!)

What “control freak” tips do you implement in your own parenting?

Rachel Harris Ledet
A New Orleans native and entrepreneur, Rachel is a mom of four with an active schedule. Rachel maintains a daily balance of running her own marketing firm, 30|90 Marketing, managing her kids’ schedules, and maintaining extracurriculars including coaching dance, volunteering, and occasionally teaching courses. Rachel lives in Mandeville with her best friend and husband Lenny, daughters Addison and Amelia, stepson Luke, and son Tucker. With a family of six and a million balls in the air, Rachel keeps things light by continuously learning, spending time with amazing friends, blogging, finding any route to a concert or outdoor festival, and planning her next getaway with her husband. A sense of humor can get you through almost anything, so she tends to surround herself with fabulous and very funny people.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here