Toddlers and colouring on walls, floors, appliances... - Mothering Forums

 
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#1 of 18 Old 02-18-2009, 10:33 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My daughter LOVES colouring. Watching TV, playing outside, and colouring are like her favourite things to do and I'd rather her do the latter two than the first. But whenever I take out her crayons and markers, even though I put out half a dozen giant sheets of construction paper, she still wants to colour on the walls, floors, fridge, etc. I find myself saying over and over "on the paper only please, on the paper only please" and then finally one more warning "Raven, if you don't want to colour on the paper I am going to put it away because I don't have time to clean the walls and doors all the time!" (I don't know how much of that last one she understands). Just now, so I could post a message on here (in another forum re: learning a 2nd language), I took out her papers and markers to distract her, and when she started colouring on the walls and door, I sticky-tacked the giant sheets of paper to those spots. But it's not really helping, she's still colouring in the empty spots.

So here's what I'm wondering. Am I just taking the wrong attitude to this? Maybe I should just relax, and if she misses the paper, whatever. Maybe say once or twice "on the paper only please" but not stress about it? They're washable markers, they come off with a bit of soap and water and with a 'magic eraser' the crayon wipes right off. If I spend 5 minutes doing this at the end of the day, what's the harm? Or should I keep trying to encourage her to draw on the paper by taking it away if she persists in drawing other places?

ETA: The only other consideration is that at his house, her dad barely manages to get his dishes done and keep his floors swept (let alone any other house work...) I know he also has trouble getting her not to colour on the walls, and I'm worried that I'd be frustrating his efforts by not being rigid about it here. Or maybe I should just tell him to chill out, too... heheh.
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#2 of 18 Old 02-18-2009, 10:50 AM
 
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What about an aquadoodle? I got DS one for Christmas because he has trouble with crayons and also enjoys coloring on walls. The nice part is that its totally reusable and it doesn't matter if he colors on something because its just water. Eventually I think she would grasp that coloring is for paper but for now if you eliminate some of the work for yourself I think that would help too.

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#3 of 18 Old 02-18-2009, 01:01 PM
 
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Hi Mama,
Maybe I'm a mean mommy, but when DD used to color on the walls. I a) dramatically freaked out, and b) immediately put the crayons and paper up. I then made her help me clean it up off of the walls.
She only colored on the walls twice and hasn't done so in over 9 months. I wasn't really worried about her coloring on the walls at home, but what she might do at other people's houses/church/school if she didn't get a hold of the right markers or crayons. I didn't want her ruining my in-laws walls, carpet, etc.
Good luck!
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#4 of 18 Old 02-18-2009, 01:27 PM
 
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My approach has been to only allow crayons, etc at her table or on the counter. Some days there are many many reminders when she climbs down with writing implements in her hands. If she just cannot comply, then I offer her another activity. She's 28 mos. I have no tolerance for purposefully coloring on surfaces that are not for coloring.

DD can "paint" with her basting brush and water on any surface her little heart desires and often does. You could try offering that as an option. They do have big aqua doodle blanket type things you put on the floor so they can make really big pictures with no chance of mess.

I don't offer the info that I don't have time to clean up the mess at this age (I don't know how old your DD is), when she is older and capable of cleaning it herself then I'll offer that as the reasoning, but at this time, she just needs to know that's how we do it.
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#5 of 18 Old 02-18-2009, 01:37 PM
 
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The rule in our house is that crayons, pens, etc. are to be used only at the table (and only on paper). If there's any trouble with that rule, we just put them up.
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#6 of 18 Old 02-18-2009, 01:47 PM
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i color with my children.
if they don't color on the paper then the colors go away.

we recently got the magic marker and paper stuff. the markers only show up on the special paper - thats cool

i want an aquadoodle lol
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#7 of 18 Old 02-18-2009, 01:53 PM
 
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You didn't mention her age, but we had issues with crayons/markers between 1-2. I got to the point where I just took them away for a while. She barely noticed.

I replaced the crayons with a MagnaDoodle which seemed to satisfy her need to draw without marking up my walls and such.

Now at 2.5(+) she is much more careful with the crayons and markers and will stay at the table with them. It also definitely helps to draw alongside of her to encourage her to stay put

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#8 of 18 Old 02-18-2009, 02:08 PM
 
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Have you ever heard of Crayola's Color Wonder products?
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_gw...=crayola+color

They are markers, paints, etc. that only show up on the Color Wonder paper - don't even stain hands or clothes!

We had the same issue with DD and I was feeling the same way about trying to stop her. We invested in a pack of the Color Wonders markers and a blank tablet of the special paper and it's been great. I don't like that a lot of the products have commercial characters on them, but if you look they do sell just plain sheets of paper. She can mark all over herself, the walls, the floor, etc. and it only shows up on the paper.

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#9 of 18 Old 02-19-2009, 11:17 AM - Thread Starter
 
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DD's 22 months. I like the idea of those products that don't let them draw elsewhere. We don't really have a table (just a bar and stools) so the only other option would be her high chair, but she won't even sit there to eat... I like colouring because it's one of the activities I can get her started, then go do housework or make lunch unlike reading and other things she can't do by herself yet. I guess I'll look into those special mats. Are they expensive? Are they reusable? Are there lots of colours?

I did get her one of those magnetic drawing boards, but it doesn't hold her attention long yet...
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#10 of 18 Old 02-19-2009, 11:23 AM
 
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I've heard the chemicals in the color wonder products (at least some of them) can cause grease stains on furniture and walls, so just b/c you don't see color doesn't mean they aren't there. Just FYI. I haven't used them myself b/c I can't stand the smell.

I agree with limits like only at the table and only on paper, and really the best plan is to stay with them and not let them color unsupervised but I know better than that not possible all the time! So I think if you can't stay and supervise, then it's better to find a different activity. Sometimes the impulse-control just isn't there

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#11 of 18 Old 02-19-2009, 12:36 PM
 
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For my 17 month old, he colors in the high chair in the middle of the room. My 3.5 yo and 6 yo have this lust to color on the walls and furniture. I have no idea where this idea originates. They also cut hair which my older two did not do. Sorry to be so far off-topic

I put them at the kitchen table or outside and redirect until I am sick of it then we put the coloring away. 6 yo dd is not so bad but she is swayed by her sister's antics. I can tell who does it based on spelling errors. I am hoping time cures this one. Like the aqua doodle we have a magnadoodle that they love. I also have a rule about all writing implements being put away and not in the bedroom.

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#12 of 18 Old 02-19-2009, 12:38 PM
 
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I expect a bit of mess with these kind of activities but when they deliberately start drawing places they shouldn't we pack up and do something else. OK the pens have washed out of everything so far but I don't want to spend lots of time cleaning up. I think only on paper is a reasonable boundary to enforce.

We have an aqua doodle the kids don't seem to use it much now the novetly has worn off. I think it's getting a bit old, the drawings don't show up as well as they used to.

Magna doodles are a big hit with both.

We also have an easel which we keep out quite a lot, though only with a couple of pieces of chalk at a time. Again when the chalks start disappearing it goes away for a couple of days.
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#13 of 18 Old 02-24-2009, 04:03 AM
 
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Have you tried putting a giant piece of poster paper on the wall and let her color on that? We did that with DD and she liked it because she felt like she was getting away with something naughty, but it was controlled.
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#14 of 18 Old 02-24-2009, 09:05 AM
 
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My first ds almost never drew on anything but the paper. My 2nd ds, having an older brother that already is into crayons, markers, paint, etc. has very ready access to these (very fun) materials, and he really makes the most of it. We have found drawing on the furniture, walls, floor,... pretty much everywhere. If I catch him in the act, I say oh, let's keep the drawing on the paper, and I hand him a piece of paper, and he continues there. If I find evidence later, I don't even mention it. We live in an older house and it's often pretty messy, so I guess we won't see a lot of his artistic efforts until later, and maybe he'll be an artistic creative type person when he grows up. Who knows.

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#15 of 18 Old 02-24-2009, 10:40 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Super Glue Mommy View Post
i color with my children.
if they don't color on the paper then the colors go away.

we recently got the magic marker and paper stuff. the markers only show up on the special paper - thats cool

...
Yes, us, too. Always at the table, two warnings if the colors stray from the paper. The third time they go away.

We have color wonder, but keep that for special outings when he needs to be still/patient, like train trips or restaurants.

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#16 of 18 Old 02-24-2009, 11:05 AM
 
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My mother told me to put butcher paper everywhere. I figure that the drawing doesn't look any worse than the ancient wallpaper and needing a repaint walls and doors, so I let it go. Unless DH is home.
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#17 of 18 Old 02-24-2009, 11:14 AM
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I haven't read all the replies but here's what we did.

I bought an art easel and TIED the markers to it. She CANT color on the walls now (her hands are another matter)

Example: http://klinetimes.com/plogger/thumbs...5_dec_0011.jpg
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#18 of 18 Old 02-24-2009, 11:16 AM
 
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I've always let it go. Go to town! Colour the walls! Its my house, I dont care. (it would be different if it wasnt mine or if I rented) I found they outgrew it and I would paint over it eventually. And we did. The best part was that sometimes, it bought me a few minutes of peace.

As for other peoples house, it didnt happen. My kids would try at the grandparents and we would stop (caught them as the hand was going for the wall) and remind them, "only at home". And they followed it.

I like the artwork they created. We've since painted over the living room "art", but we did take pics beforehand. We have our bedroom to do, but I cant bear to cover it yet.

I personally dont think crayon marks on the wall are the worst thing in the world. For me, its not a battle I wanted to deal with, I knew they would outgrow it eventually.
And they all colour within the lines now.

ETA: we only let the kids have crayons. we learned the hard way about markers and wall, lol.


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