Tuesday is art day here; or at least it's suppose to be. Sometimes it ends up being just one thing too much, but I give a good effort. It is also something that all the kids do together. Yes, it would be so much easier to have Anna paint a picture while the twins nap, but they really love art time. I am seeing some return on the fact that they have been working with messy art materials since they were able hold a crayon, as they aren't too terribly messy.
If they do get their hand in it, they can at least clean themselves off now. I have also learned that washable tempera is the best paint for toddlers. Finger paints only frustrate if the child is really interested in painting a picture. I also give them a limited pallet. Usually only two or three colors.
Anna uses opaque water colors, but I think the next time I buy her paint I will get transparent, since I think she is ready for them. She likes it if I give her a specific thing to paint when we are doing art. This time it was a tree in fall foliage.