Wednesday, August 29, 2012

RIW -- an activity to keep your preschoolers happy when the siblings are back in school

It's back to school time. For those of you who have school-aged children and preschoolers, this can be a difficult time of adjusting... for the little ones, at least. Their playmates are gone 5 days a week for hours on end. What's a preschooler to do? What's a mama to do?!

May I suggest getting crafty with your kiddo(s)? How about painting with some safe, non-toxic, natural paints from Earth Paint? Before I go into reasons why Earth Paint is the best way to go when it comes to painting with your children, I thought I'd tell you a little bit about my experience with it.

Leah Mebane contacted me several months ago and asked me if I would review an Earth Paint kit on the blog. Leah is an artist and new mom in Ashland, Oregon. Inspired by her son, she created a new line of Natural Earth Paints for Children and an eco-friendly oil paint kit for teens and adults. I agreed to try out the children's kit, but then never seemed to get around to doing so with my grandchildren... until we went to the beach for a week. We took the Earth Paint kit along with hopes of painting seashells. Alas, the ocean did not cooperate and only delivered tiny shells and fragments each morning. What a huge disappointment for me, who loves to walk the beach searching for treasures washed up on shore. Gifts from the sea, as Anne Morrow Lindbergh called them.

So, we had to compromise. We found some stones and we had paper, so we were set to go. Except we forgot to bring paintbrushes! More compromise! My daughter created a paint brush out of the grass that was growing on the sandbar, which worked for a little bit, but then we switched to some cotton swabs. 

We mixed the 6 lovely colors with varying amounts of water, creating some watercolor paints and some thicker ones. Then we let the kids have fun, knowing the paints were safe, even if ingested! Aren't the colors gorgeous?

Laura mixing the red paint

Lincoln unleashing his creativity!

Rock painting

Lincoln's masterpiece!

Bottom line for us is that we had fun. The paints were easy to mix, the colors were vibrant and appealing and the Earth Paint kit is definitely something I can wholeheartedly recommend. Older kids will be able to do so much more with the paints as they unleash their creativity.

The kit includes a booklet with directions on how to mix the paints and suggestions for nature-based activities.

But why bother going online and ordering a kit when you can just run down to the dollar store or Kmart and pick up a set of paints for a few bucks?

I'll let Leah explain in the following article she wrote. This is well worth the read:

What’s in your kids paints?

Petroleum derivatives? Fungicides? Bactericides? Unfortunately, just because a label is labeled nontoxic doesn’t mean it’s earth friendly or human friendly. When I was looking for toddler art supplies for my son, I wanted only the purest, most natural paints to touch his skin. At two years old, it was sometimes hard to prevent him from sticking the paint end of a brush directly in his mouth. This inspired me to create (or really re-introduce) this completely natural and toxin free paint that our ancestors have used to paint their bodies and art for over 100,000 years. Naturally colored clay- pure and simple. And what could be more natural than the earth itself?

After doing research, I was shocked to find that many commercial artist paints contain biocides that include formaldehyde and are used to extend the paints shelf life and preserve the ingredients. I also learned that conventional paints may contain hundreds of different chemicals, many of which contain carcinogens or neurotoxins. Even “Low VOC” or “nontoxic” paint may contain fungicides and bactericides that not only cause headaches and dizziness when inhaled but can contribute (little by little) to greenhouse gases.

We are proud that our Earth Paints are one of the safest paint products on the market. They are safe for you, your child, and the planet. They are handcrafted and even though they are children’s paints they are very archival and high quality. Just think how long the cave paintings have lasted.

Our natural earth paints are not made from petro-chemicals, they contain no toxins, and they do not off-gas as they dry. The six colors (red, orange, yellow, green, blue and brown) are vibrant yet earthy and have the creamy consistency of tempera paint. If you’d like a watercolor effect you can simply add more water. We also sell an Eco Oil Paint Kit for teens and adults that requires absolutely no toxins in the process (no turpentine or heavy metal pigments required). I’m learning that most high schools don’t allow oil painting in their art classes because of these toxins that are usually involved. Our Eco Oil Paint Kit solves that problem and provides radiant, high quality oil paint that is completely safe and provides an opportunity to teach students about the ancient history of earth painting from prehistoric peoples to the modern day.

If you have creative little ones or teens, Earth Paint is worth the investment. Don't you love knowing non-toxic truly means non-toxic?

Next week, I'll be posting another article by Leah, all about the ancient history of earth paints. It's fascinating info.

Reviewing it for you,


Disclaimer: The product mentioned here was sent to me free-of-charge. I was under no obligation to review it positively or otherwise. However, I chose to post this review reflecting my honest thoughts and feelings about the product. This is a non-sponsored review.

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