What is it with kids and Face Painting?


I love taking my kids to arts festivals. Always have.

When my eldest was little, she loved to color in her coloring books. But as she got older, she grew frustrated when she didn’t know what color to make something. Or when she’d color outside of the lines.

And I would always tell her that it didn’t matter if she colored outside the lines. And that she could use any color her little imagination wanted to use. Why not make someone’s hair or skin purple? But no matter how many ways I tried to explain it, she was becoming discouraged that she wasn’t a great artist.

And that’s when I started taking her to the festivals. So she could see all different types of art and know that her way was okay.

When my two little ones came along and started going through a similar stage, I continued the same tack.

We go to several arts festivals throughout the year and at each one, my husband and I point out all the different types of art – from  mixed media to painting, photography, digital art, printmaking & drawing, watercolor, claywork, glass, fiber, jewelry & metalwork, sculpture and wood.

And at first, the kids seemed intrigued by all of it.

Until they discovered that they sell kettle corn at these things. And that they offer face painting.

Needless to say, our festival outings now consist more of standing in line for hours for both of these things and then attempting to get them to look at the art, knowing full well that anything we say is falling on deaf ears.

And the worst part is that after about 15 minutes, they smear off the paint and then don’t eat their dinner.

The silver lining is that most of these festivals also serve alcohol.

I just hope that at some level, they’re absorbing some of the knowledge we’re trying to impart and will grow to love and appreciate the arts. And allow themselves to be creative, use whatever color they damn well want to and color outside the lines.

Are your kids distracted by face painting? Leave a comment below.


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