Melissa and Doug Beginner Paint with Water

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Melissa and Doug's Beginner Paint With Water is an ideal way to introduce your child to the colorful world of painting!

When I was a kid, the local grocery store had the most amazing watercolor packs.  Each pad of paper had a crisp outline of an animal or other character, and you could see the faint outline of watercolor paint throughout.  All it took was a paintbrush dipped into some water and....presto!  Wherever you allowed your paintbrush to meander, so long as it was on the provided paper, paint magically appeared!  

I can still remember sitting at my family's kitchen table, humming to myself, making paint appear in beautiful swirls right in front of me.  Cue: Nostalgia music.....perhaps The Brady Bunch theme song?  Oh, ok...no digressing!  The Brady Bunch can certainly be a time sucker, says my 7-year-old self.  But didn't Cindy have the cutest ringlets?  

Ahem...back to nifty watercolor paper!

Those pads of paper were a blessing to busy mom's everywhere! Besides the paper and the included brush, nothing was needed except a clean cup of water.  Clean up was virtually non-existent, except for the over-zealous use of water.  

So now that I am a mom, I have kept my eyes out for those magic paint tablets for the last 9 years.  I figure that if my busy mom deserved to have paint paper for her kids, so do I!  But alas...these tablets are now hard to find.  Maybe your stores carry these tablets, but I've had a hard time finding them.  

I only have one more child left to enjoy paint paper!  My irrational emotions set in and I start to panic.  How can I provide my kids the same childhood I had if I don't find that paper!  (admit it....you have thought the same irrational thoughts.  Maybe it wasn't paper.  Maybe it was your mom's brownies or the ocean Inn you spent every Summer. :o)  I credit this panic to great memories.  And we all want our kids to experience the fun we also had as kids.  Right?

Back to the panicking.  

Just in the nick of time, when my world was in danger of never being complete, my mom saves the day!  Isn't it fitting that my mom, the one who deserved to have paint paper, find new and improved paint paper for me?  

Seriously!  

I can't wait to show you this amazing invention!  Melissa and Doug brand Paint with Water!    

All you do is cut off the paint pallet.  

Yes.  You heard right!  This paper tablet not only has cute little outlines, but it also has a cut-off paint pallet!  

This means, that the only supplies needed is STILL the cup of water!  The paint is provided, but kids now get to make their own color choices!  

The directions say to cut off the pallet when finished, but I thought it made more sense to cut it off at the beginning so that the paint didn't drip on the same side of the paper every time our little painter dipped her paintbrush generously into the cup of water.  This would be a great activity to Grandma's house, your house, your friend's house, your guest house, your dog's house, and even your neighbor's house!  It's a great activity to have ready at a moment's notice!  Think of how it will keep your little one busy as you are teaching your older kids!  
 

And just so you know, painting for preschoolers is much more than just fun and a way to keep the busy ones, er, busy.  Painting has many redeeming qualities.  Among other things, it is a wonderful way to strengthen fine motor skills and aids in color recognition!  For another fun, easy fine motor and color recognition activity, check out my directions on how to make your very own color sorter bucket