Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Yes, We Watch TV Sometimes and I'm Not Ashamed!

Fun Activity for Your Preschoolers: Painting on a Tree
The other day I let the kids play by themselves in Munchkin Girl's room, which is risky, I know.  But at almost 4 and 2, they are really starting to play well together and I want to encourage that, so when the begged me to go to her room to "play", of course I agreed.  I was pretty shocked actually.  They did great and I could hear them up there, discussing things and having a great time.  Mostly Munchkin Girl bossed her brother around and delegated room-cleaning to him, but he happily agreed and kept saying, "Okay, sure."

Then after about 20 minutes, I suddenly heard, "Nooooo!!  That's MYYYYYYY fox!!!  Mommy help!!!!"

I went running and found them wrestling around on the floor, fighting over some stupid stuffed fox.  I broke it up but then I noticed that look in Little Buddy's eyes.  It was a look that said, "I have now tasted what it's like to irritate my sister and I'm ready for more.  I want to make trouble."

At that point, it was almost nap time and I quickly decided that if I didn't want more stitches or knocked out teeth (yep, those both happened recently, feel free to read about it!), TV was a great solution.  Yes, I'm not ashamed to admit that when it's nap time and the kids are wound up, I think TV is a wonderful way to calm them down, especially if it's a show that is nice and soothing.  So one of our favorites is Little Bear.  It's on Nick Jr. and he is always playing outside with his friends and using his imagination to come up with songs, games, etc.  In fact, sometimes I wish I could live with Little Bear.  Life would be much simpler.

Photo courtesy of

I know experts say you shouldn't let your kids watch TV, but I would like to tell the experts day when Munchkin Girl suggested that we paint outside, I was inspired.  There was one episode where Little Bear was painting on a tree so I got out a few simple materials.  I love using old egg cartons for paint holders because then I can just throw them away without washing them.  Then all I needed was some construction paper, paint brushes, and a few large thumb-tacks:

how to paint with toddlers without making a huge mess

The kids were really excited about this.  They just loved acting out something Little Bear has done and an added bonus is that it really eased my guilt they are using creativity and benefiting from their TV-watching!  Now, as someone who almost got kicked out of art class in 5th grade, I have admit that I was very proud that day to look out at my little artists! (Oh, and yes, Munchkin Girl is in her PJs...this was first thing in the morning and I never said I was a perfect Mom!)

painting with kids

Surprisingly, Little Buddy (2) stuck with this longer than his big sister.  He went through several pieces of paper and I was shocked that his attention span has improved so much in the past few months!  I guess imitating his friend, Little Bear, paid off!

combining nature and art for little kids

If you liked this post, you will LOVE my new book (which is currently ranked#5 on Amazon in the category of Motherhood!).  Here is one of the reviews on Amazon so please consider buying your own copy!

5.0 out of 5 stars This Book is a Life-saver! July 10, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Amazon Verified Purchase
This book seriously saved my sanity. I've read a bunch of parenting books but this is literally the only one that actually gave me real and specific advice and ideas for things to do with my daughter. I'm a stay-at-home mom to a 2-year old and I was at my wits end trying to come up with ideas of fun, easy, creative things to do with her that will keep her busy and occupied and help her learn. I wasn't very good at following through on ideas that I heard about from friends or read in other books or online because they seemed too complicated (aka: messy!) but this book broke it down and made it so simple. I highly recommend it!

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  1. That looks like a fun art activity. I like how they are using the tree as their easel. I got your book for my Kindle and plan to read it soon. Thanks for sharing this great post on Artsy Play Wednesday on Capri + 3.

    : 0 ) Theresa

  2. I'm glad you aren't on team "TV is the devil". I don't have TV on all the time, but normally for the half hour before Tay's bedtime, we turn on Sesame Street and snuggle together. Sesame Street may also come on in the mornings when I'm trying to get us all packed and out the door to daycare/work.

    And I love that you used their TV time to do something outside the house. Definitely something we will aspire to do too.

  3. Little Bear is such a cute show. I love the painting idea!