But chalk pastels get everywhere!

Yes, chalk pastels do get everywhere! It is the nature of the art. Yet there are a few, very simple tips to keep in mind that will ease your fear of messes and ramp up the enjoyment for all. Blessedly messy as we often say.

How to Minimize Chalk Pastel Art Mess at www.hodgepodge.me 1. Practice – Yes, simply pulling out the chalk pastels over and over will give you, the parent, practice (plus build the enjoyment!) in chalk ‘mess’. You will see that, yes, there is a mess, but it is a quick and easy clean up. And the joy on the faces is worth it all!

Practice will help you feel comfortable with paint and canvas too {raising my hand}. Practice. Practice. Practice. Start small. Pull out the crayons. The paint with water. Bring on the paint another day. And watch the joy spread on their faces. And maybe the paint spill on the table. You don’t have to commit to an afternoon. Just 10 minutes.

2. Cover the work surface. Plastic tablecloth, newspapers or wax paper – these simple items can make the biggest difference for the teacher! Use the same $1 investment plastic tablecloth for art time over and over. Get a new one when it is worn thin. Place newspaper at each child’s spot at the table. Fold it all up and recycle it when done.

If It's Not Messy It's Not Fun 3. Baby wipes or a short stack of wet paper towels within reach – this makes all the difference in the world for those children and parents that don’t like messy hands. Pastels will get on your hands and a simple swipe with a wipe takes off any chalky residue.

4. Keep a trash can close by – to toss those baby wipes, to swoop up the discards. Keeping the trash can close by the table and not having to walk across the room really helps!

5. Print your lesson – if you are concerned about your computer or electronic device getting chalk dust on it during a lesson, consider printing the one lesson you are doing. Here on Hodgepodge, there is a ‘Print with Print Friendly’ option amongst the sharing buttons at the bottom of each post (last one on the right hand side). For our posts and ebooks, choose a range of pages. Guess what? Several mothers have emailed me photos of their printed ebooks – all the tutorials printed in book form for easy reference! (One day we do hope to be able to offer a printed version of tutorials in book form).

messy chalk pastel fun Let messy hands be part of the art! The photo above is one of my all-time favorites!

6. Have your art time followed by bath time! I am all about the practical and love the balance that this can give a parent. The freedom to get messy and enjoy – with towels strategically placed headed to the bathtub. Go for it!

Bonus chalk dust tips from Nana: Dear Pastel Pioneers,

Yes, there will be dust.  The dust that rubs off of your pastel chalks and your pastel paintings, it gets on your fingers and hands.  It is bothersome, but I caution you not to “blow” it off of your painting surfaces…it will land everywhere that you do not want it.  My suggestion is this:  Have an empty box top handy and tap the dust into the box top.  You can empty the top into your garbage can later and the dust does not fly all over the room.  When drawing with pastels, do not let your students blow the dust off of their paintings in other folks’ faces!  How rude is that??

Art for All Ages - How to Deal with Chalk Pastel Mess www.hodgepodge.me The chalk dust that collects on your table or drawing surface can be wiped up with a damp paper towel and thrown away.  Remember, pastels are made of PURE PAINT in a dried and molded form, and the residual dust is part of painting with pastels. And I will add that it does not matter if you have the cheapest of pastels or the more pricey ones.  Pastels produce dust.

Me?  Oh, the absolute joy of holding a jewel-colored stick of pastel and using it to paint a sky, flower, a train thundering down the track, the “famous” one-minute-apple drawing….the dust is just part of the free-spirited way to paint with pastels!

Pick up a stick of pastels….yes, you too ARE an artist!

Art for All Ages: Tips and Tutorials

Here’s what you can expect each of these 10 days! The following links will be live on each day as we go through the series:

Messy chalk pastels More on Chalk Pastels


It’s an autumn hopscotch with iHomeschool Network! Be sure to visit all the wonderful bloggers! It’s a fabulous page full of categories and 10 days worth of topics!

**Thanks for joining us for Art for All Ages. We invite you to subscribe to Hodgepodge via email so you won’t miss any free tutorials! You can also join us and help spread the word about our 10 day series on Pinterest, YouTube, Google +, Facebook and Twitter. Thanks in advance for helping Hodgepodge.**


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