Saturday, October 04, 2008

favorite thing friday

I'm not sure where I first heard about this simple trick for keeping children entertained, but whenever I give our kids a clean paintbrush and a bucket of water, they will stay busy for a good 30 minutes. Give or take 25.

Several months ago (around the time William entered his "Tarzan" phase and strips down to underwear whenever we're at home), I picked up some inexpensive paint brushes at a hardware store and since then, "painting" water has evolved in to one of our favorite pastimes.

The children "paint" water on concrete - the house - plant pots - outdoor furniture - each other - and they pick up a science lesson regarding evaporation in the process.

With much sadness, I can see that naps are beginning to disappear for the triplets. So today when I realized that I'd have better luck solving the financial crisis than getting our children to lay down and have quiet time for an hour, I filled up small buckets with water - handed them their paintbrushes - and set them loose in the backyard.

For an hour, we all sat and painted various shapes, patterns and faces on the ground. But after that time, the children started to get ornery and began teasing one another. "I'm gonna kick over your bucket."

"Noooo! Don't kick MY bucket!!"

It didn't take much of their bickering before I felt like *I* was going to kick the bucket if I didn't get away from the noise, so I went inside the house.

Which leads me to another favorite thing: a soundproof door that locks.


  1. I know that the Padres are not in the postseason, but our Dodgers are (snicker snicker) and Shayna has really taken a liking to batting. Maybe get the kids a bat, ball, and glove... this keeps Shayna occupied for at least 30 minutes, or until she hits the ball over the fence and/or house!

  2. Another great water thing we do here when it gets too cold to be outside is - I chuck them all in the bath! Sometimes with a bit of food colouring or bubbles and give them things from the kitchen, like colanders and slotted spoons. My kids have had 3 baths in 1 day on cold days when I have to be in the house! Sadly the 8 and 6 year old are getting past this but the 3 year old is still happy to wallow for hours and the 6 year old often joins in if the eldest isn't around!

  3. Lorie, they already have their own baseball gloves. But you're kidding right? You think it would be a wise idea for me to give the kids BATS??

    Ha, ha, ha, ho, ho, he, ha, ha, ha, ho!!!

    Um, no.

  4. I am going straight to Hell because that last picture is HILARIOUS!!!

    Do you have a macaroni tub? Everybody needs a macaroni tub!!

  5. Well, bats and a soundproof-unbreakable door, too... survival of the fittest! It'll be fun! LOL!

  6. Karen in Buffalo10/4/08, 1:15 PM

    I wish you had posted this 2 months ago when it was still warm here in the NE! I'll have to keep the idea for next summer~ I know my girls will love it.

    hw: what is a macaroni tub?!?

  7. I need your soundproof door along with the paintbrushes. My daughter is also beginning to drop her naps although she is only two! Why, oh why is this happening to me?

  8. "30 minutes, give or take 25" That's hilarious. And true for us, too.

  9. What a great idea!

    Mine have bats!!!! I gave three bats to my friend Laura's trio on their third birthday.


  10. That last photo = hysterical. (Does that make me sick and twisted?)