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Why I Give My Daughters Separate Paints (& an Announcement)

by Jean Van't Hul
October 18, 2012

Mixing Paints

I give my daughters separate paints. Not always. But when I can, I do.

Daphne and Maia are at such different stages on the paint mixing spectrum, that if I don't it just leads to frustration for both of them.

Maia, at seven, is meticulous with her paints. If her paints start out looking like the photo above, they will end looking like the photo above.* She washes her brush between paint colors or uses a different brush.

Mixing Paints 2

Daphne, at three, likes to mix her paints. She does this unintentionally sometimes (sticking the brush that was in the red in the blue next) and quite deliberately other times. While the girls were painting yesterday after school, Daphne dipped her brush into each of her six colors first before applying the paint to her project.

Mixing Paints 3

And then her focus moved from painting her project to completely mixing the paints and turning the paint plate into a new canvas. 

Maia used to do the same thing when she was Daphne's age.

If I don't give the girls separate paints, they drive each other crazy. Maia gets upset about the blue in the red paint and tells Daphne not to mix the paints. Daphne gets upset that Maia is telling her not to do what she wants to do (or just doesn't understand what she did wrong). It does not make for a friendly, sisterly painting session.

I want each of my children to enjoy painting in their own way and at their own stage. And so I give them separate paints as often as possible. 

How about your kids? Are they paint mixers? Or do they keep their paint colors separate?

*Note: Maia likes to mix paints, too, sometimes, but in a different way. She mixes two or more paints together deliberately to achieve a certain color that she doesn't have already.

By the way, heads up my friends…

Tomorrow there will be a special "Pay What You Can" sale on my Autumn Crafts eBook! So check back tomorrow when the book will be priced to fit any budget.




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