Usually I leave it to the EEU (Experimental Education Unit) where the kids go to school to do all the art projects. At school the paint, glitter, chalk, glue, playdough and whatever other medium the teachers are brave enough to attempt is contained. The children can wear smocks (but of course my kids won't wear one!), they sit at the table, there is butchar paper covering the table, and they have regular cleaners that can get glitter out of the carpet.
So for me, venturing out into the painting activity is a brave action. I have found, through trial and error, that watercolor comes out of everything better than crayons (you can look at my walls for proof), tempura isn't as bad but I feel much safer with watercolors.
The kids have really enjoyed painting. They like mixing the colors and cleaning the brush. Madeleine likes to drink the paint colored water too, much to my horror. I have found that when things are getting a little crazy I can say, "Let's Paint!" and that seems to settle everyone down for a few minutes.
Today I had to go to work. I had a new student on my calendar and had to get out of the house a bit early. Since this is a change of routine Michael quickly pulled out the paints and engaged the children easily and happily. Except.... this is what I found on the camera when I came home!!!