Handy Family Tips: Bathroom Art

Tube of toothpasteChildren are very artistic and love to draw. The problem is that they seem to love drawing on the walls. I am not sure if you have ever tried it, but it is much more fun than drawing on a piece of paper. Do you remember the times when you were younger, when you went to the teachers’ blackboard (yes, it was black back then) and tried to write on it? For some, this was the highlight of the day. Teachers know how exciting it is for students to write on the board and they try (well, those who understand and are not control freaks) to give them opportunities to do it.

Drawing on a piece of paper requires fine motor skills (delicate use of fingers) while drawing on the walls has a different feeling altogether and requires gross motor skills. The problem kids have with drawing on the walls is that this fun activity is usually accompanied by the pain of anger and disappointment from frustrated parents or teachers who prefer their wall or board clean and ready to use.

The simplest solution at home is to buy a big whiteboard and position it at a height that will allow kids to use it as much as possible. I have discovered that this is a great solution for kids who continue to practice their graffiti skills, no matter what you tell them (sometimes with permanent markers).

The other solution that I have for you is to use the shower door and walls. Having a shower is great fun for kids. When they are babies and are in the bath, they spend a lot of time imagining and learning about the world. Bath time is a great time for stories, for science lessons and one of the best learning environments. Unfortunately, at some stage, we limit children’s bath time and rush them into the shower, which in my opinion is a shame, because bath time can be a great opportunity to enhance their artistic skills and give freedom to the graffiti artist within.

Shower wallTake the cheapest and most colorful toothpaste you can find, encourage your kids to smear it on the shower door and walls and use it like finger paint. They can draw, learn to write their names, do math and draw lines from one side to the other. If they do not like it, erase and try again. It washes away easily with water and you can start all over again. Encourage them to draw symmetric things using both hands simultaneously to strengthen the connection between their right and left brain. Since the toothpaste has a smell, the brain will register it with the color and the fun experience and kids will look forward to showering again.

If they are very happy with their drawing and do not want to wash it off, take a photo of it to help them realize it is not really gone. If they insist, leave it on for a while. When they come back the following day, a bit of water will make it workable again. To wash it off, just add a bit more water. It will make the walls clean and shiny.

Suggestion: try it yourself too. It is great fun!

Happy bath time,