Little Picasso: when your kids use your walls as a canvas
When children get creative on your walls with their crayons, paints and pencils, it usually isn't quite the art and design you had in mind for the room. Luckily there are lots of options to make living with a "little Picasso" a less messy experience.
As most parents witness, young children with crayons or paints in their hands will decorate anything in sight. In their defense, some research shows that when a three to four year old colours on the walls it might be because at this stage in their development it's easier for them to draw with their hand out in front of them, rather than on a tablei. However, this doesn't make those unwanted artworks any less frustrating. If you're facing this problem with your child, there are ways to clean up the mess and stop it happening again.
Non-toxic and child safe cleaners
When cleaning painted walls it's always a good idea to test an inconspicuous area first to see how the cleaner affects the paint finish. Here are some tips for cleaning up after your little artist:
- Baking soda applied to a damp sponge can get pencil, crayon and marker stains off painted walls. Simply rub gently, then wipe and rinseii.
- Borax (sodium borate) mixed into a paste with water can be used to clean painted walls and wallpaperii.
- White vinegar may help to get rid of crayon on your walls as it cuts through grease and wax - it's also great for getting stickers off the wallii.
- If your child has left sticky fingerprints on the wall you can try a weak solution of dishwashing liquid and warm wateriii. Another, slightly unorthodox, method is to rub the marks with slightly moist, stale white breadiv.
Encourage little Picassos
If you want to prevent a big clean up and your children just can't keep their creativity off the walls, it might be a good idea to encourage that exact behaviour. Maybe you don't want crayon masterpieces all over your dining room, but there are plenty of ways to let children express themselves and to keep your home looking great. Bear in mind that the ideas listed below may only be appropriate for older children who understand that just because they're allowed to paint on one wall, they aren't allowed to decorate the whole house!
Chalkboard paint is a great tool for parents looking to entertain creatively minded children. You can paint whole walls with chalkboard paint or keep it just to certain doors or pieces of furniture; you can even get creative by having chalkboard paint within frames or painted into designs on the wallv. Then you can let the kids loose with colourful chalk.
Although more expensive than chalk board paint, the beauty of dry erase or "whiteboard" paint is that it doesn't have the dust that comes with chalk and it's easier to work in to a more neutral colour palette. It comes in white or transparent and has a glossy finishvi.
Easels and paper sheets
For kids who love to play around with paint it might be worth setting up an easel in their room, or even occasionally sticking big sheets of thick paper to the wall in the room they do art and craft in. When children prefer painting on the walls to sitting at a table to paint it may be because it's easier for them to paint upright, or because they just want a larger canvas. For a day filled with art activities, why not encourage their creativity and allow them to paint on the allocated wall which you've covered in paper; you may have to put sheets down to protect the floor as well but your child will no doubt have a ball. Easels are another simple but effective option and they can look great incorporated into a kids' playroom or bedroom.
When your little Picasso makes a big mess, they're probably just expressing themselves the best way they know how! By finding ways to let them scribble to their heart's content while keeping the crayon and paint contained, you'll encourage their budding creativity without ruining your décor!