Real Mess for Real Creativity

We were walking through Toys R Us the other day and we saw a toy that struck a nerve with me. It was a child's video game that came with a paint brush game wand that "painted" on the TV screen when the child hit a button and waved it at the screen. This started me thinking about the turn away from real art supplies and the stand-ins that let parents off the hook.

The past few years I've noticed that Crayola and other companies are trying their hardest to come up with products that are "No Mess". I wonder though, when will these kids ever learn to not paint on the carpet if they only use paints that have no real pigment. When will they learn what colors make purple? When will they learn that markers should make an immediate mark on the paper ... not after a few seconds when the chemical reaction finally takes place on those Color Wonder papers.

I won't stay on my soap box much longer but last week we had some good messy fun in the playroom and I realized that it took very little effort on my part but the kids got so much out of it.

Sure, it took me 3 minutes to wash everyone's hands... and about a minute to wipe up the tables.... but they finger painted happily for about 15 minutes. Worth it, in my book.

A couple times a week we pull out the playdough. They have the best time. Messy? A little. Worth it? Definitely.
Sure, there are times that I limit the artwork to the washable crayons and scrap paper but when it comes to art supplies, I'm a big fan of the real thing.... the heck with new art technology!