You don’t want to stifle your kids’ creativity. You don’t want them writing on walls and furniture either. I know one Mom whose solution is just to let them have at it. She buys inexpensive furniture that “doesn’t matter” and paints the walls periodically. Are you kidding me? Isn’t that the laziest thing you ever heard of in your life? Plus, what are you teaching your kids? It’s not OK for them to destroy property and shirk their responsibilities. Grandma Jaipi has some much better ideas.
Take re-paint money out of kids allowance.
How will they learn if you keep covering for them? If your kids have damaged walls to the point where they need re-painting, don’t foot the bill. It’s not your responsibility. Take it out of their allowance. What’s more? If they’re old enough, they can do some or all of the painting too. Kids will never learn to be respectful if there are no consequences for their actions.
Have a designated, well stocked art area.
Sounds simple, right? Yet, surprisingly, few parents think of crayons and paper as a necessity. Artistic expression is a must for kids’ developing minds. It’s natural for them to want to create. They can’t help it. Stocking up on basic art supplies gives them an acceptable outlet for their artistic talent. Be sure to replenish supplies as needed. Including them on your weekly shopping list is one way to do this.
Make your walls indestructible.
Take it one step further. Give your budding artists a large canvas they won’t get in trouble for using. Use chalkboard paint and/or dry/erase board paint on kids’ room walls. Or, give them one wall they can doodle on as they wish. You can also cover walls with waxed butcher paper to make clean up easy. Face the waxed side toward the wall to keep paint from seeping through.
Keep small kids in your line of sight.
Your kids can’t destroy your walls if you’re right there watching them. Ar least, I hope not. If they do, you may have bigger issues to address. Not all parents watch what their kids are doing all the time. If they did, wall painting wouldn’t be an issue. Older kids need less supervision. It’s still wise to check on them from time to time. They may not be so likely to paint on the walls. What else are they doing? It’s your job to keep them out of trouble, after all.
Teach kids how to entertain themselves.
When kids get bored, they write and draw on what’s handy. Busy kids don’t cause trouble. They don’t paint on walls or furniture. They’re too occupied with more positive projects. What are some things you can do to help kids entertain themselves and stay busy?
*Give them jobs they enjoy doing.
For instance, my grandson gets a kick out of mowing the lawn with the manual mower. I get a mowed lawn. He has a good time. It’s a win for both of us.
*Send them on random fantasy “quests”.
Kids love to pretend they are explorers on a quest. Make up a story, hide a treasure and let them seek it out.
*Give them materials to build something in the yard.
Make the materials age appropriate and let them go to it.
*Have a list of activities posted for when they’re bored.
Write down some things for kids to do when there’s nothing to do. Post it on the fridge or family bulletin board. That way, they’re never bored enough to write on the walls.
More from Jaipi:
Kids Interacting with Backyard Wildlife?
Chemical Free Kitchen Cleaning Tips for Kids
Five Easy Clean Strategies for Kids’ Rooms