Parenting 2.0

Colour Me Bad: A Tale of Toddler Creativity

Posted on: October 20, 2011

Mama’s crafty.

Daddy’s artistic.

So can we blame Niko for embracing his creativity? No.

Can we be ticked off that his pursuits pulled him to colour on our walls? Absolutely.

But where did he get the red crayon from? At least that’s what it looked like had been used on our walls. It wasn’t until I saw him with his wooden block in hand and poised by the wall, that I made the connection. Don’t get me wrong, I love wooden toys! But when they double as crayons on freshly painted walls – walls that we repainted three times, before I was happy with the colour (Love you Borys!), my adoration wains.

The only solution I found to simultaneously encourage little Niko’s creativity, and put an end to his wall-canvas antics, was to buy him his own set of real markers and crayons, use a plastic sheet to cover the table, supply lots of blank paper and let him have at ‘er. Turns out he loves to colour and create and has even been so inclined to decorate a few home-made birthday cards for his pals.

I tried to show him that colouring on the walls on the walls was not acceptable. I held up the wooden culprit and feigned doing it myself, and then told him that’s not where we colour. We colour on paper. And it seems to have done the trick. Well that and the fact that all 24 of those coloured blocks are now out of reach and only used under direct supervision.

So for now, we live with his Picasso-like work. It greets me every time I sit down at our dinner table, and even now as I type this entry I can see the writing on the wall, literally. But I have to say, Niko does have a sense of humour about it, even though I can tell he knows he’s wrong to have done it. The other day, and even a few times after that I heard him saying “Colour Mama. Colour”. and when I escaped the kitchen to see his latest escapades, he was standing at his mural, holding up one of those tricky block/crayons, poised and ready to go. But he had a smile one his face and a twinkle in his eye, clearly indicating he knew the error in his way, and yet getting ready to make mayhem despite it. What a kid.

I figured it best to respond by simply asking him if he wanted to colour, reminding him that we don’t colour on walls, and offering him the plastic sheet, his crayons and markers, and some paper. He gladly accepted and away he went. After that I scoured the house in an attempt to collect any additional renegade blocks. Mission accomplished. I think.

On the wall…

On the paper…

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2 Responses to "Colour Me Bad: A Tale of Toddler Creativity"

[…] One thing about a toddler is that they like hanging around with their parents. Whatever the task, however meaningful or menial, these little tykes can be found lingering underfoot, just looking for ways to get involved. In these situations there are two options: include them or don’t. But whatever you decide – to include or not to include – their little hands will find things to occupy them, and if it’s guided by you, you might appreciate the outcome a little more than if they’d gone off and say just decided to colour on the wall or something (but I’ll leave that particular story for another post). […]

[…] to do with all the little pieces of art that Our Little Picasso had been coming home with. I tried the fridge – but when it comes to space on a stainless steel version, you’re limited to only one […]

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