one of "our" new favorite things to do in the mornings is paint. kids just strip down to their diapers for easy cleanup. guess in the fall we'll have to invest in a smock.
one of the best things santa brought the kids this past christmas was the melissa and doug easel. it usually lives upstairs in kendal's bedroom but a couple of mornings a week, i take it outside and load it up with paint, paper, and brushes. applesauce cups fit right down in the paint cups - plus those trays are easily removable - so is the paper roll - and i can spray off the whole thing when they are done.
they like using both the washable poster/tempera paint and water color. kendal, though, i think next time i'll just give him one color at a time (or just colors that mix well, not every color in the rainbow which = brown/gray). he ONLY likes to mix them. holly usually goes one color at a time.
the best part of this is that kendal has learned, over the times we've painted, that it is OK to get his hands "dirty" with paint. holly always gets covered from head to toe in it. kendal has gotten progressively dirtier each time we've painted. today he was covered pretty good - his left hand was all colored - and he was OK with it. he still has a paint smear on his face (i purposely didn't wipe it off, i think it is cute!)