I took Jacob to open play at Gymboree the other day. The teacher on duty had some activities scheduled – they don’t always, but this teacher seems to really care about the kids and she goes above and beyond. It’s really great.
She started with story time, followed by finger painting. As you might imagine, I was apprehensive. Not about the story time. More about the prospect of ending up covered in paint (turns out, my apprehensions were correct, but more on that in a bit…)
I should let you know at this point that Jacob has been less interested in playing for too long anywhere – he likes a change of scenery pretty often these days, so I wasn’t expecting to be at Gymboree for more than 20 minutes or so.
Finger painting changed that.
We were running around playing with each other and having a great time. Then, like clockwork, after 25 minutes Jacob ran for the front door saying: “Ah done!”
The teacher decided that she was going to start the story-time portion of the activities, so I convinced him to stay. He didn’t really want to listen to the story, so he ran around a little more (being open play at Gymboree, I was totally fine with this). Once the story ended, things got interesting. That’s when she brought out the paints. She brought four plates, each with a different color of paint. Red, yellow, blue and green. She brought smocks for the kids, and I wish I had thought about taking off his shirt (unfortunately, I didn’t, so that shirt is now his “painting shirt”).
The smock helped, but not much. He still ended up covered in paint. He LOVED it!! It was his first experience with painting and it certainly won’t be his last. He kept saying: “Pame! Bu pame! Reh reh! Gahn! Pooopm! Rem!” (Paint, blue paint! Yellow! Green! Purple! Red! – I’m told we’re not the only ones whose kid has their own language…) He was painting with a friend of his, and they both tried to eat the paint. Fun! (Between you and me, it was hilarious) I ended up covered in paint too (less hilarious). Thankfully, it’s non-toxic and water-based, so it came right out. Mostly.
Then it was time to clean up. This part was trickier. I carried him at arm’s length across the play space to the back – it’s where the sink is. Then I pinned him between myself and the sink and washed him off. It wasn’t too difficult, but he tried to touch EVERYTHING.
The hardest part was keeping him away from the painting table after he was already clean. He kept running back saying: “Pame!” He just wanted to keep painting! It was adorable.
She finally put the paints away and Jacob started saying: “Pame, ah gone!” (I was really proud – he’s starting to form sentences!)
He repeated that sentence until bedtime. It never got old – for either of us. It was decided then and there that we’d be buying him painting supplies.
It’s gonna get colorful here at home…
Thanks for reading!