Monday, April 19, 2010

First the Walls, Now the Driveway

When you have four kids so close in age, everyday is like educating, taming and herding a classroom of preschoolers. Every activity we do is geared as if we were in a real school environment with structure and behavioral boundaries.

In fact, when we are at museums or the zoo, people often assume we are part of a legitimate field trip. Who in their right mind would birth so many kids at once and then be sane enough to actually go anywhere?

In addition to our countless field trips out of the house, we also do activities and art projects almost daily. I love that my children are able to express themselves with coloring and drawing. I don't care that we go through a ream of paper a month, or that there are broken crayons in every possible place throughout the playroom.

When the triplets were about two years old, it became clear to Jeff and me that the walls of the playroom were toast as in, history. As the kids got older we noticed a stray mark of crayon here or there. One mark turned to 398 scribbles and we decided to just encourage them to color on the walls. We praised them for their talents and embraced the whole Jackson Pollack flair on the apple green accent wall.
After two years we barely have any plain green wall left at all and the remaining neutral walls are peppered with the colors contained in the the standard 64 count box of crayola crayons.

The windows are fair game too. Recently, the colorful marks have taken a turn from squiggles to sketches. There are rainbows, kitties, other obscure looking animals, and the artist's signatures all over the windows and walls. Gone are the days of the kids just randomly applying crayon or marker, now we have full on imagery.

I just invested $2 in a crate of sidewalk chalk. This miracle art supply not only fuels their creative juices, but it gets them outside on the driveway for hours. I am talking about a full fledged recess on the driveway. Just when my preschool class is getting on my every last nerve, I simply bring out a bucket of chalk and turn them loose on the cement.

We have the most colorful murals on our sidewalk and in front of the garage.

We started with the walls and we have moved on to bigger and better surfaces. For my preschoolers, the sky is the limit. This summer I am going to give them paint rollers and have them paint the back of the house. Good lord, I can't wait for the Home Owners Association to get wind of this hair brained scheme.

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