Darrol Henry is crazy about coloring right now, but staying on the paper is not his strong suit. Dave and I made him this no-mess art area, and it took all of 45 seconds.
Every afternoon, Darrol Henry toddles over to the kitchen table shouting, “Color! Color! Markey!” The kid eats his crayons, so lately I have kept them hidden in favor or markers. He tries to eat the markers – “markeys” – too, but not quite so voraciously. The thing about all of this coloring is that our poor kitchen table was a mess of crayon and marker markings.
One evening, Dave came home from work while Darrol was coloring with “markeys.” He was getting about as much marker on the table as he was on his little piece of paper. Dave wondered aloud if we could get a roll of kraft paper to cover the table, so he could color without worrying.
AND THEN IT HIT ME.
How to Make a No-Mess Art Area
All that you need to make an art area for your kid are two things: a big piece of paper and a few pieces of masking tape. And you can totally get that brown paper for free from any Amazon package.
I am a paper hoarder, and every time we get an Amazon package, I stash that brown packing paper in a cabinet. I use it as scrap paper and for gift wrapping, and now a big piece is covering part of our kitchen table. It’s a no-mess art area that cost no money and took only a few seconds. I just grabbed a big piece of that brown paper, taped it down with a little masking tape, and let Darrol Henry go to town.
And! This whole no-mess art area thing had an unexpected bonus. That brown paper makes a pretty cool backdrop for food photos. I’ve been using it for a couple of weeks now. Sometimes, I like to incorporate the marker work he’s done, too.
I just discovered a new favorite podcast recently. It’s called One Bad Mother, and it’s two moms sharing real talk about parenting. Every episode has a conversation, an interview, and then a segment where they each share a parenting “genius moment” and parenting fail from the previous week. File this art area under genius, y’all. And, of course, 30 seconds after sitting Darrol at the table with his markers, I got to have the accompanying fail moment when I turned around for a second to pull down a wine glass from the pantry, and turned back to see him chewing on the wet end of a blue marker.