Paint the walls

I was looking through some old photographs and found our ‘paint the walls’ party! Obviously we were in the middle of decorating at the time but you could recreate the fun with paper stuck to your wall (I would suggest double thickness – you can buy cheap rolls at Ikea in the children’s section). It is fantastic to draw on a really big scale and honestly, it was such a fun and liberating party – the children couldn’t quite believe they were allowed to do it!

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I put some fun ideas on the wall to give the girls a start – but I made sure I left lots of blank spaces for their imaginations to run riot. I put frames up for them to fill, an outline of a house, toadstools, outlined faces for them to complete and suggested several other drawing prompts.

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They started off with fairly small marks.

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But towards the end of the party they got a little bolder – creating beautiful patterns, swirls and messages to each other.

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If your children are a little older it is a good project to introduce the idea of ‘guerrilla’ (I had it as gorilla until Daddy mentioned the other spelling!) or ‘street art’ – perhaps start off by showing them a carefully selected Banksy (some of the subject matter may be difficult for little ones). We particularly love Spy Booth in Cheltenham (UK) as it is round the corner from the government listening post – GCHQ! Whatever you think of ‘street art’ – art or vandalism – it is all around us and your children will want to talk about it! Check out this article on Red Ted Art for an interesting and inspiring take.

Just a word of warning on the house painting though… If you are in the middle of decorating and think this looks fun – either use children’s paint and wash most of it off before the repaint. Or, if you are using washable markers – again give your walls a wash with soap and water. Or chalk might be a good alternative – jumbo chalks would be fantastic. We found this out the hard way as there remains a pig on our wall (which my Mum created!) right at eye level. Despite several coats of paint you can still see him in certain lights!

Enid Blyton rating: 9 out of 10 (I only knocked one off for poor Daddy who had to do several coats to cover the art! I still love the pig reminder though…)

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