A party can consist of two people. No really, it can.
In my world, a party can consist of just one person. Just one person enjoying a nice bowl of popcorn. Good times.
Elise, while still a little too young to enjoy popcorn, does enjoy a good party. We threw a rock painting party that was tons-o-fun. Get it? It’s a play on rocks. And how they’re heavy.
Get it? I know, I’m not funny.
Click on “Read More” to see our 2 year old’s new stone sidekicks!
This is a bit long, so for those of us who scan pictures first I have included a few pictures of Elise during her first year.
We have entered potty training territory with Elise (26 months) and a couple days a week, the mornings are spent without our beloved cloth (or paper) diapers. Our approach to potty training is very relaxed and, just like every other day around here, we try to fill it with fun.
The down side?
I don’t want to spend all morning in the kitchen or bathroom, but because of the stone tile and the ability to easily clean up any accidents, that’s where we were spending a good bit of it.
Now, don’t get me wrong – we’ve had tons-o-fun in there (posts are coming on some great kitchen floor fun, I promise), but it was just more work for me to set up each activity. I was schlepping everything for our activity or craft into the kitchen, carting in her terrific toddler table, having our fun, cleaning up the fun, and then schlepping everything back to where it belongs.
It wasn’t horrible, but it wasn’t fun adding additional set up and take down time for as many activities and crafts as we do around here.
I tried putting towels down, but Elise would move them accidentally (or intentionally) and they just weren’t big enough to really do much.
One of our good friends became known to us when we partnered up with her to be Elise’s nanny. Although I didn’t go back to work and she was only her nanny for a short while, Elise (and Jeff and I) became quite attached to Kris and her family.
Kris has been working with kids nearly her entire career and is a mom three times over now, so when she gives advice I listen. And I take notes.
She also happens to be entering potty training territory with one of her children (also 2), so when she sent this little bit of advice our way, we were very grateful: use a large fleece blanket under whatever area they’re playing in and you’ll have enough time to clean it up (or move it) before it can leak through to your rugs or carpet.
Another benefit is that the kiddo doesn’t think she’s confined to one area and can be as creative as she would be if she had the security of the diaper on her tush.
I really love Kris. Not just because of this advice, but this kind of stuff is like a sweet, sugary, icing on the fabulous cake that is Kris.
All of that is sort of a disclaimer to let you know that for some of the crafts we do from now on, you might see Elise without – well – without pants. Or a diaper. Or even her coveted Hello Kitty big girl panties. Sometimes she wants to go sans-everything and I let her. I will never publish an inappropriate picture, but a little toddler tush here and there might sneak through.
Now on to our pebble playfellows… You might remember that I mentioned loose parts play recently, and one of her favorite finds outside are rocks. She pretends they are all sorts of fabulous friends, so I thought she could paint a few.
Paint (we are using tempera here) is usually reserved for a location in which I can control where Elise can move with a paintbrush. Because she’s been crafting for quite a while now though, I decided to test where she was with my idea of “proper paint control” and knew we could use this as an activity for a potty training practice session.
I set up this activity in 5 minutes and then decided a single vessel that held all of the paint colors would be better than individual paint cups. A duplicate-sized muffin tin had been in storage downstairs, so I thought it would be perfect for this activity. The disposable ones would be good if you have those lying around (we didn’t) or can make a trip to the store.
Elise likes having choices when painting, and often asks for different brushes, sponges, and spreaders so I placed a few down for her. Along with her favorite tool – her fingers – she was set.
No instruction was needed. Elise immediately started painting some “friends,” letting me know what color she was painting their eyes, hair, lips and eyebrows (she really likes the brows).
Once she was done with her rocks (left to dry on a piece of wax paper), she wanted to keep painting and chose to decorate the paper on her table.
Not content with stopping until all of the paint was gone, Elise asked for other friends to paint. I fished out some wooden cutouts purchased a thrift store (I found 30 for about 4 cents each) and gave her a couple of cats to make colorful.
When she couldn’t scrape any more paint from the tin, she declared: “I am done and want to sit on potty.”
So she did and earned a few stickers for her potty sticker chart. Yay!
The best part? Elise was very mindful of the paint. There was a time when she leaned into her paintbrush, got paint on her apron and asked me to wipe it off. When she noticed she got a smudge on the table, she picked up the same cloth and cleaned it herself.
Color me impressed, kid.
What else can we paint? Let us know in the comments section if you have an idea! We love hearing from you.