For Princess' crafty pool party I decided to "borrow" LeeAnn's idea. My original plan was to use my basic white tablecloths and put a disposable white plastic tablecloth over the kids' craft table when it was time for painting (and eating), but the brown paper was way more functional, and much more stylish. Even better, we had a giant roll of it leftover from our house remodel, so it was FREE! (But to buy a giant roll at Lowes or Home Depot is only about 10 bucks!)
The party was over a week ago now and I have yet to take the paper off my tables. And even though I normally can't stand clutter on my tables and counters, I have slowly gotten used to the idea of keeping out a rotating variety of craft supplies on the table because a little craft "clutter" on the table is a small price to pay for the hours and hours of entertainment it brings Maggie, my little craft queen, every single day. She will happily sit there and draw/paint/cut/glue/stick/stamp/etc. while I cook or clean or sort coupons or pay bills. And even Trouble, in a rare moment of contentedness, will sit there occasionally, eating goldfish (and the occasional crayon), happy to watch Sissy color and to be part of the action.
We bought our dining table about four months ago. It was a major splurge, but I fell in love with it the moment I saw it (last December) and no other table would do. I knew it was THE table, the place we would sit for the next 20 or 30 years, enjoying good food and all our important moments as a family. It would be the homework table, the afternoon snack table, the addressing-wedding-invitations-someday table, and yes, the craft table. Solid and sturdy, it would be the symbol of everything I wanted our family to be, the one object in our house that our daughters would remember from their childhood.
I love having the kraft paper on my table because every time I sit there with my daughters I feel like a little piece of my vision is coming true. And instead of being worried that our brand new table might get ruined by glue/play-doh/paint/markers/etc., we can simply just have fun.
I try to mix it up and put out something a little different every day.
As soon as she wakes up, Princess is ready to "do her art."
(She ate one of the crayons about 30 seconds later.)
Easter eggs in August? Princess' favorite DVD is "It's the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown" and after watching it for the billionth time, she really wanted to paint eggs like they do in the movie. I don't know why I never considered painting eggs before. SO much easier (and neater) than messing with dye.
Brown paper is also very handy for keeping score while playing games.
Thanks again, LA!