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after dinner art

Do you have young children? What is the toughest time of day for your kiddos?  For us it’s that time between dinner and bath-time.  They are tired, a little crazy from the dessert they got as bribery for finishing dinner, and a little done with one another.  This is potentially a recipe for face making, name calling, toy grabbing, bum chasing chaos… so my husband and i try really hard (really really hard) to put our game faces on and do some fun activities apres dinner.  It might be soccer, or a walk, or a mini bike ride, or lego or dinosaur-baby-family-knightandprincess-school (yes we merge the ‘boy’ and ‘girl’ games to sandwich utterly ridiculous awesome make-believe messes)…or on really fun nights we do artwork.

Generally our after dinner art is messy, fun, and potentially dangerous with paintbrush wielding artistes who each have a vision as unique and they are.  This week we made salt-dough eggs one night, then we painted them with base coats another night.  Finishing touches (swirls and circles, lines and zig zags) will be tomorrow evening.

finished eggs

I found the salt dough recipe in an old post on the design mom blog .  Essentially you mix 2 parts flour to one part salt and one part water (ie 1 C flour, 1/2 C salt, 1/2C water) – roll it out to 1/4 inch thick, cut with cookie cutters, poke a hole in the tops with a straw and place on a parchment lined pan – baking at 250 degrees for 2-3 hours.

The following night we put down some newspaper, popped on aprons and painted with acrilic paints so that we could hang our eggs outside and the paint wouldn’t wash off … but it was far more messy and dangerous than using watercolor  paints. Living on the edge… charlie egg painting

In reality, this project involved my amazing husband hovering with warm wet clothes to grab the painted fingers and flying brushes before stray paint landed on our chairs, clothes and floor. Bothersome hair, itchy faces and drippy drips on arms were sacrificed and washed thoroughly in the bath-time that ensued.

Tomorrow we’ll paint our designs and then up they go – on the branches of our trees outside … a little bit of Easter festive fun to add to the spring feeling in the air.  A three part-er art project that has been super fun for our crew of three under five.

Hope this maybe inspires you to do a fun Easter project too… or at least gives you an idea to get through the toughest part of your day.  Would love to hear your ideas to get through as well!

kate egg painting

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