When my boys discovered crayons I discovered how many times i wanted to yell NO! They just did not care for paper. There was crayoning everywhere! On the table top, on couches, on pillow covers on clothes, on all their picture books, on walls, on cupboards…you name it and it was there. shaky lines, bold lines, squiggles and dots and dashes. In bold blacks and blues and reds and pinks.
And yet there was no point starting out on this creative journey with a restraining, constraining NO was there? I mean, this was so beautiful to watch. They would scribble and talk about what they were drawing and here i was, worried about a silly couch. As they played with their crayons they were learning about colors and sizes and breakages..they were learning to appreciate their work and to share space and materials with each other. They were developing a better grip and working on their fine motor skills. They were experimenting with things like pressing hard with a crayon and getting darker lines. It was fascinating to watch once i put my worries for the walls and upholstery aside.
So i just decided to go about it a little differently. In stead of saying NO everytime they picked up a crayon and moved towards the living room couch, i started suggesting spots for them to paint on.
I sing this silly rhyme to them…it makes them laugh but it seems to work. “You can scribble…”
On the walls, on the floor
On plastic cupboard door
In your book, on your chair
On the paper lying there.
Siddhant teases me by walking with a crayon up to the living room couch and asks me “here? ok?” and I will then ask him, “is that the wall? Is that the floor? Is that your plastic cupboard door??” And he laughs and runs off.
Things like painting and crayoning is so much fun for the kids and such a wonderful learning process too that i have to learn to deal with the mess. And actually if it is wax crayons, they are no so hard to clean off. I have a washable emulsion paint on the walls so it is easy to clean. It wipes off really easily from the floor tiles too as it does from plastic surfaces. And my boys love to scrub the floor and wipe after they are done with their artwork. So we all clean up together!
(I still have managed to get crayons on the couches and sheets, but i just have to deal with that)