Well, "al fresco" means eating outdoors, not painting outdoors, but This Girl's artistic process always involves the passion of a good feast, so I guess it works anyway.
Apparently, here in Washingon State, it is almost summer. Sort of. I recall last year that we never really had a spring, it just went from winter right into summer. Last Saturday, the kids bought lemonade from a children's lemonade stand down the street, and had Popsicles in the afternoon. In March!
I had forgotten how wonderful a babysitter a warm sunny day can be. Being work at home parents, it is always a challenge to balance our workload while caring for our 3-year-old - to work and also give her attention. Happily, this weather has tipped the balance a bit!
This girl is a PAINTER. Throw her in some grub clothes and set her outside, and she'll happily go to town for hours. While she does have a set of washable watercolors, she typically prefers craft acrylics. I bring her over to my drawer of paints, and she selects her own colors - 10 of them, one for each cup in her plastic palette.
When The Boy was young, I bought a set of tempura paints, but neither of us were all that happy with them. They definitely have their purpose, and I do still have them on hand. But so many wonderful paints are made these days - they are inexpensive, easy to clean up (while still wet), readily available in an enormous variety of color options, and these days they'll stick to almost anything - paper, wood, cardboard, metal, rocks, flower pots, glass, and more.
She only started painting about two months ago, and I had no idea she'd take to it so quickly. I have a lot of projects in mind, which I'll be sharing here over the coming weeks as we complete them. I encourage you to try them yourself, in collaboration with your children! Kids are like creativity steroids - they bring out the artist in you that you never even knew was there!
(These cards were painted by The Girl, and will be part of a future collaborative project...)