Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Episode Twenty Eight: Use Spray Paint

When I was young my Mother was making resources for one of her childcare centres that she owned. She got milk bottles, filled them with rice, covered them with newsprint, spray painted them and, with brushes, painted weird Aztec patterns all over them. I probably helped with measuring up cups or rice or mixing the wheat paste for the newsprint or something like that - but I don't remember. All I remember is that I got to use spray paint!

Spray paint is one of those perennial favourites with kids (and adults) - like balloons or pizza. Spray paint never stops being fun. I'm in my thirties and I still love mucking around with spray paint. I decided to share the joy and let my kids have some good old supervised fun with aerosols.

The first thing to note about spray paint is that the stuff is pretty fumey and full of crazy chemicals - so if you're not into exposing your kids to that I would suggest masks, gloves and safety glasses. I compromised by letting my children use the spray paint in a well ventilated area and to give them a lesson on which way to aim the nozzle etc. 

What my middle boy learnt was that painting anything precise with spray paint is hard. Really, really hard. I tried to show him some tricks that I picked up during my younger days. We talked about graffiti and tags and we talked about how, although it's naughty to paint on things that aren't yours, some of the graffiti is pretty clever. It takes a lot of practise to make things look cool.

Basically, there wasn't any lesson or point I was trying to get across. This idea was merely just a chance to be out in the sun mucking around with a bit of paint (and give the clothing rack last seen in Episode Seventeen another run). We painted a bit, stood back and admired our work and then went inside to eat lunch. Easy.

What sort of things do you still enjoy doing that you loved doing as a kid? These may be the very things that help you and your children connect. As I've said before, your children will love to see your enthusiasm for a certain activity. It's infectious. Why not dig out that old hobby - the spray cans, the Magic: The Gathering Cards, or chatter rings and show them? You never know, you might have bred the next Cope2 or Tony Hawk.

Bonus: A great video on can control. There's more to it than you think.

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