I spent much of my youth babysitting. I had a regular gig babysitting kids from two sets of families down the street, plus regular gigs at my family’s church. I was an expert babysitter. I took classes, enjoyed what I did, and had a blast with the kids that I cared for. Like every other girl my age, I voraciously read through the Babysitter’s Club. I was convinced that all this would somehow make me a wonderful parent someday.
Babysitting, however, in no way prepared me for parenting whatsoever. Except the part about learning that if you give kids a bucket of water and some paint brushes they will be happy for several hours.
When we went to the hardware store to pick up some parts for the pergola we’re building, I was sure to pick up a handful of cheap paintbrushes in assorted sizes. We had several buckets leftover from Isobel’s Bubble Party, making this one of the cheapest forms of entertainment this summer.
For the first hour we played with them inside the house, no water at all, “painting” the cupboards and the floors while I did the dishes. When we went outside I filled her bucket with water and she instantly got to work.
Oh man, she thought it was awesome.
We painted the ground for awhile before I showed her how to paint the fence. We’re working on her Tom Sawyer skills now so she can rope the neighbor kids into helping us paint the house when it’s time.
Jupiter was curious, but really no help at all.
When cousin Victoria came over, they added chairs to the equation.
Isobel tried painting Victoria, but she was not having with that.
Victoria thought this game was the best ever.
After Victoria left, we tried out the brushes in the pool.
Kingston came over, and was an enthusiastic painter.
I love that they wanted to paint the outside of the pool, too.
This cost maybe three dollars total and Isobel plays with it at least two to three times a day, not counting the times she asks to play it. Her absolute favorite toys right now are the bubble buckets, the paint brushes, and the Dollar Store chairs. Hooray for thrifty parenting!