I have a super artsy 3 year old. Our rules are basically only on paper unless you ask. Asking for permission helps with the gray area. There’s lots of nuance— for example in general I don’t have an issue with her drawing on her toys, but she once drew on a favorite stuffy and was then VERY upset. And I’d let her draw on her skin except for the fact she currently hates baths and spending forever scrubbing it off is a paaaaaiiin. We rent, so no way is she drawing on the walls. It works well for us. Normally she’ll ask, “Can I draw on this?” If it’s an old cardboard box? Sure! A document from work? Nope, find something else!


That makes so much sense I'm surprised/embarrassed that option never occurred to me. Though she's still figuring out how to put words together to make sentences. She recently turned two and knows SOOOO many words but she's not putting them together to make sentences much yet so we still have a bit of a barrier with communication.


Yeah, it gets easier when they can communicate, though our girl has oddly always been really good about asking permission for things. I will say that I tend to err on the side of having her draw on paper only at this age because she doesn’t quite understand the results of her actions yet— for example coloring on a stuffed animal and then being verrrrry upset about the ink. When she understands it better then I’ll let her go to town. I remember giving all my toy horses haircuts at one point and then being upset that it didn’t grow back…my poor parents!


Teaching my kid about asking permission has absolutely helped me be nuanced rather than rigid about boundaries. Of course there are clear rules about some things, but in areas like this, there’s so much room for nuance.


It surprises me how many people let their kids color on the walls. I would be afraid say a 2 year old would not understand that just because it is ok at their house it may not be ok at school or a friends house.


This. I think a lot of this age is teaching kids what is acceptable and in general, drawing on walls is not societally acceptable behavior. I don’t think at this age they have the capacity for understanding that rules are different in different homes


Yes I agree. I think a lot of parenting techniques lately that I've seen imply teaching socially acceptable behavior is restrictive or controlling. As an adult, I am glad my parents taught me socially acceptable behavior and norms. I'd be kind of annoyed if I didn't know how to compose myself and act in society. That said, my kid loves to draw on the floors. I don't lose it, I ask him to draw on paper. When he's done on paper, I ask him to help me clean up the floors, and he helps with a wipe. While we clean I talk with him about how it's fun but we don't use floors and walls when we want to color,we use paper, easels, the sidewalk and pretend it's the walls or floors.


I think at some point my parents just told me we don't draw on other people's things and I just accepted it. But I also never had an urge because my parents gave me so many opportunities to be artistic at home so when I was somewhere else I just wanted to stay on paper so I could take it home. Also preschool probably helped too.


Yes, this. My two year old first off, absolutely does understand rules at home are different than elsewhere, but also, I just parent my child when we are at other people's houses, and keep an eye on him. I personally find nothing more annoying than people bringing their children to other people's homes and letting them run wild without actively parenting them.


Yeah, we rent so it’s a hard no in our house 😂


I let my girl color on the walls of her room, but the rest of the house is off limits. We've never had an issue with her trying to color or write on the walls at other people's houses.


I know toddlers probably aren't being allowed sharpies but fyi everyone they are nearly impossible to get off of walls. Even with multiple layers of paint. (Source: previous owners let their teen write on the walls of our place... We're still enjoying their art work against our will) I'm a big art person but with toddlers I don't think they can be trusted to deal with complicated questions of what is ok to draw on and what isn't. I enforce just paper for now.


I did sharpies in the walls. Two layers of kilz and I'll never do that again.


I encourage my 3 year old to draw on paper but if he draws on his leg for fun or on one of his toys it’s really not the end of the world. I say no to walls, floor, furniture, not that he’s ever really tried it. He also colours in my tattoos sometimes 😂


Oook that sounds fun lol the best coloring book!


Haha yes he loves it. I have a reasonably big inverted pentagram on my back so he likes colouring the different sections of “mummy’s star”


That's so cute! If you don't already you should get pics of it every now and then when he's done so you can look back on them. I loved seeing my art from when I was a toddler around the house and seeing how it progressed over time.


My personal motto is “almost everything can be washed, fixed, or replaced, so let her have fun.” My husband and I both went to art school (but both ended up librarians 😆) so we encourage our 3yo daughter to experiment creatively. Our only rule is she has to help clean up any mess she’s made. 🤷🏻‍♀️


Ooo thank you, that makes complete sense and seems obvious but I didn't think of it either so lol


To be fair, our daughter has never tried to draw on the walls, just paper and herself. I would be fine with it in her room though because I believe kids need some autonomy and a space of their own.


No walls/cabinets/floors/furniture. No coloring her clothes. If she wants to strip naked and color herself that’s fine except before school or after a bath. She can color all of her hard toys. She’s pretty good with the boundaries but every once in a while there is a slip. Her personal favorites are decorating all the boxes from mail orders or sitting in the bathtub with a ton of paint and paper and rolling around to create body paint art.


I feel like my toddler would looooove a body paint bath. Thanks for the inspo!


It’s great. When they are done you put water in the tub and have them scrub the paint off the tub and then the they get a bath and it’s like it never happened. We also use big sheets of paper for this and then I use them as wrapping paper for gifts. No waste.


All drawable / paintable art stays on paper or cardboard. It's the tracking I'm trying to avoid - especially inks and paints that stay wet for a bit - because of school and work uniforms. I don't want it spreading to other parts of the house where the baby can accidentally lick it, especially when they reach the crawling stage - a child at playgroup managed to get a stray crayon up their nose, left behind by an older sibling. I also don't want them accidentally setting off an allergic reaction in another child. I have the same policy with food. It's not that stuff isn't washable, it's because I don't have the time or mental energy to deal with the washing itself. In turn jt's also a mark of respect to not deface other people's property or bodies.


People actually let their kids draw on walls? This is giving me anxiety just thinking about it. Our rule is only paper and only sitting at the table or kitchen island. There is no drawing on walls, tables, floors, toys, etc. Basically, if it isn’t paper or something that I have given express permission about (like a cardboard box), then it’s off limits. My reasoning is that even toddlers need to learn to respect others’ spaces. The house and walls are shared spaces and shouldn’t be ruined. Yes, we can hang artwork on the walls, but we aren’t going to permanently alter them.


Lol my mom lets my niece draw on the walls, floors, blinds, work papers.. Basically anything she wants except the couch and TV bc my dad would flip out. It all washes off. As a kid that loved drawing on the walls for some reason, I'm a little jealous ;)


Paper and her own skin are always acceptable. Furniture and the walls are never acceptable. Anything else she knows to ask, and typically I’ll explain the consequences and let her make the choice. For example, “if you color on Lovey, we will have to put Lovey in the washing machine. That means you can’t have Lovey during naptime”. She loves coloring on herself and wiping it off with wet towels. It seems harmless to me so I just let it be. She hasn’t tried to color on furniture or walls in months. At least once a day she asks to color on me or one of her toys. She’ll be two in a week.


We have a paper only rule but I also buy the big rolls of butcher paper and use painters tape to put big pieces of paper up on the walls in the living room (which is basically her play room) and she can draw on that.


My toddler definitely understands what the different rooms are, so you could try it out. But I can imagine you'd definitely get some marks in the wrong rooms! I definitely don't want him drawing on the walls yet. Once he's old enough to create an actual good-looking image, (thinking 8 ish, but maybe not until teenage) I'll probably let him if he wants to. My sister-in-law has painted a few large things on her walls, and my other sister in law has one of her murals in the spare room we stay in, so he will see inspiration. But I'd rather not have random crayon scribbles. Crayon does not come off with water! I'm obviously more strict than you, we get him to keep crayons on the table or in a tray.


Thank you. That's good to know about crayons. I've never used many crayons and I haven't actually gotten her any crayons other than her bathtub crayons. She has a plastic tub filled with washable markers, like maybe 70 sum, and I keep it up unless she wants them. So I guess that's how I'm also monitoring/controlling her art. I don't want all the markers to get lost or dry out because she's not old enough to know how to care for them properly. So if she's making art she's usually never actually unsupervised. Growing up I ruined a lot of good art supplies so I want to do my best to teach her how to take care of the cheap stuff so if she wants the silly expensive stuff later on one day maybe it won't get ruined/waisted.


Very sensible. I'm sure you'll be able to foster creativity on different ways until they're ready to look after their equipment and home properly.


We hang a large sheet of paper on the wall with painters tape and let her go to town with any of her art supplies, she's never once been inclined to draw directly on the walls or furniture. So far we've had incredible success with the approach of if you give them the opportunities to play messy/get wet/whatever then they won't do it when you don't want them to because they know they'll get opportunities to do it. For example, we let her practically swim in puddles and take mud baths when we are prepared for that type of play and clean up so now when we ask her not to step in a puddle with her clean shoes she has no problem staying out, she knows we let her when we can. Same could go for messy art, if you let her draw on something in a controlled manner then she might not do it uncontrolled.


That's so good to know! My mom always bragged about how I was a super well behaved child and maybe that's why, they let me do the same things you just described. So hopefully since I planned on doing the same with my daughters they'll act the same. 🤞


I think since you’re only parenting one kid, your approach sounds reasonable. But if you were to add more kids to the mix, you’d have some confusion if you decided to put some rules in place later. Does that make sense? As a mom to an only, I feel like I have a few of these “what’s the harm?” type thoughts around certain scenarios that other parents would freak out about, but it’s only because I know I’ll never have to deal with these scenarios again after she loses interest in whatever it is and truly, what’s the harm?


That's really good to think about. I'm actually pregnant with our second daughter right now so lol. But I try to do a bunch of research and asking on Reddit like this when it comes to rules/how I parent. I'd prefer to not switch it up much with the second but I also imagine I'll probably make some mistakes and have no choice.


My son loves to draw and of course has no interest whatsoever in crayons, only markers. We put up a dry erase board stupidly on a white wall and immediately the wall surrounding the board looked like a Jackson Pollack. But it came right off with one of those Mr. Clean erasers, so no harm no foul... We put him at the coffee table in our den (which is cheap and a lost cause), and insist that he cap any markers he isn't using and keep them off the floor/carpet. Beyond that, the only other thing we are particular about is painting. That gets done in his high chair with a tarp-ish thingy on the floor underneath him. We also have an easel in our unfinished basement and as far as I'm concerned, he can draw with anything and on anything down there, but of course he prefers to be upstairs near his other toys and TV... As a general rule I really hate to do anything that discourages the creativity. My wife takes a lot of pride in keeping our house clean and had a hard time at first not miro-managing these activities, but I think we've reached the point in the "pick your battles" philosophy where washable marker stains no longer make the cut for getting stressed about. All that being said - if you have kids doing artwork in a room with rugs, look into Ruggable rugs. They're washable. We throw ours in at least once a month and just about everything comes right out. Those plus the Mr. Clean eraser pads easily fix wall drawing as long as it was something washable, so between the two, 90% of his mishaps are easily fixed.


We let our almost 2 year old color on anything washable. Walls are fair game (need the right paint finish!) but doors are not. There are special washable crayons for bath time. Once we are in a house (in a small apt now), we are planning to make a full bedroom wall into a giant coloring book so there’s a designated place to color and draw. We may also put a chalkboard wall in the rec room so there’s another drawing space that’s more free form/for group games. I had a chalkboard wall in my last apartment in the dining room and people LOVED writing messages and playing tic tac toe while I was finishing up dinner.


My daughter's only two so we tryyyy to keep it on paper but of course sometimes she finds them without my knowledge and we have some nice art on the wall.. In our eyes and even at my parents.. we can paint the walls when we want so we don't worry about it. The other day I painted space and planets on my bedroom door and was like how do I tell my daughter no drawing on the walls when I do it 😂 I guess I'll just be like well when you own your own house you can do it too 😂


We just don't have the space to keep all our art supplies out for little hands to access on their own. So I get it out for them for art time or if my eldest asks for art. The rule is they have to stay at a table. I have to keep an eye on them because my youngest likes to crunch crayons with his teeth but then doesn't like the crayons fragments in his mouth. This doesn't deter him from doing it anyway though. If youngest doesn't want to do art then my eldest at about 3.5 years can be left unsupervised. He doesn't purposefully color himself or the walls. When using paint, it gets a bit messy but nothing crazy. There's no reprimanding, we just clean up together. They have smocks for painting but it's not forced, they like them. If they tried to color on the walls, I would definitely stop them. Just little accidental marks have gotten on the walls and it's not just a quick wipe off. If we were in our forever home, I'd be open to them painting their bedroom walls if they wanted. As for materials, sure they get regular white paper but when we go to the grocery store and if we use their bags, we get some paper bags. Then we put them in the art cabinet and they can cut up and draw and paint on brown paper. We save some cardboard or even a recent package insert that looked like a castle. I also pick up beat up wooden toys and allow them to paint those too. But I don't offer their other toys or stuffed animals and it hasn't occurred to them to try as of yet. I'm good with that.


We use only the washable stuff. Her markers and crayons are always out with some paper. We’re teaching her that they stay at the table, but they do sometimes end up on the floor or all over the table. It’s no big deal. It’s her table and a washable Ruggable under the table. I’m more concerned about her running around the house with blueberries than with markers. We painted the kitchen & playroom yellow and have plenty of spare paint to patch where needed. It’s just paint.


Outside we let her draw with sidewalk chalk all over the fence, deck, playset etc. Inside, basically only drawing on paper or cardboard boxes. She has an easel for chalk she used a lot as a 2-3 year old but hasn't used much this year. We discourage drawing on her skin because she would hate having it scrubbed off. She's been pretty good about things overall and recognizes what should not be drawn on (4.5). One thing that may have helped is that she inherited a large plastic toy that had been drawn on by another kid and we explained and showed her that we cannot get the marks off - they are permanent. Also she did colour on a small table with crayons once and we made her scrub the marks off and explained that we don't draw on furniture/ walls.


markers, stamps, crayons, paint all must be used while in the high chair. i don’t mind if he colors himself or his chair or his washable toys but i don’t like the idea of cleaning ink off of every surface. i usually take his shirt off if he has something with ink or he will usually color his clothes. i do let my toddler draw on the walls and tile floor with chalk only because it wipes right off, much easier to remove than crayons even, and if you wet the chalk then it is much easier to draw with and the color is so vibrant. i really enjoy seeing his “art” on the walls and tile. i’m not worried about him drawing on someone else’s walls because he’s almost 3 and due to pandemic and my poor health he hasn’t really had the opportunity to go to other people’s homes much. he’s starting to go out more now and we just talk about how different homes have different rules and sometimes things are allowed at home but not at nana’s house or whatever.


Oh thank you that's so good to know about the chalk! That sounds like a wonderful option for her while she's young. And I'm not worried much about others house either. She doesn't go many places because we don't have a ton of family members we trust with taking care of her and she doesn't go to daycare so she doesn't have a ton of friends her age sadly. I imagine when she goes to others houses regularly she'll be older and more able to understand other houses have different rules.


i haven’t tried it yet but i’ve heard that you can crush sidewalk chalk up and mix it with water to create an easily washable paint. i hope to try it soon!


My FIL & Husband are both artists. While we never intended to allow him to draw on walls or his toys it happened (always worry when your kids are too quiet lol) we have scribbles on the walls next to his door, after a talk about why that’s not okay, he actually hasn’t done it again… he has a white board that he uses & paper throughout the house. We own our home & im not too concerned about the material things, we’ll eventually paint the house & get new doors. He hasn’t done it since that one time, if it was a constant thing it it would be a different story. We are currently potty training & his “reward” is to draw on his potty after each use… 🤷🏽‍♀️ it works so we go with it. He knows he can only draw on his special potty & we haven’t had any issues with unwanted art anywhere (so far). As far as drawing on himself, I see it as a form of expression, he usually does it when he’s pretending to be something else; my husband & I both have tattoos & I like seeing what he comes up with. Personally I love having someone play with my back & I’ll allow him to draw on me, it gives me a few minutes of quiet time & I get back tickles lol… he’s also asked us to draw on him & we happily comply… I figure it doesn’t hurt him & it will wash off… for me there’s no harm & no reason to say no.


We have a cheap black coffee table and I basically have always let her go to town on that with washable crayons. So for us its coffee table or paper. Floors are frowned upon, walls are a definitely no (although she's actually never attempted to draw on a wall, strangely enough). I don't feel like I've ever done much enforcement, I guess we just happen to be on a similar page. Although, when she has drawn on the floors or alternate pieces of furniture I've immediately had us wash it off and I think that's discouraged her from using those spots again. Her toys though? As far as I'm concerned those are hers so I've never had a problem with it. Sometimes I think I'm too lenient, but it works for us for now.


We have a storage room under our stairs I turned into a playhouse. They can color the walls in there all they want. They can paint or color on the easel or paper as much as they want. Anything else, they have to ask.


we have crayon on our walls, but our 2.5yo knows not to draw on other people's walls. I personally love it. he also likes to give himself tattoos like his mom, and similarly that is allowed on himself, and not on other people. we have pretty strict boundaries of freedom.... oxymoronic though it may seem.... that most of the restricted stuff only happens inside our house. another example... sumo only happens in the dohyo in our house and only with Dada. knock on wood, he has maintained his promise that he does not wrassle.with anyone at preschool. he similarly does not wrasse or draw on walls anywhere outside the designated release space.... I think that's how I reasoned it with my odd logic. 9.9/10 times he prefers paper and I'd like to think it's because we didn't make a big deal about his wall. preschool exposure also probably helped.


Don't care about it he walks, floors, skin, clothing. Do care about the furniture. Our 2 year old gets on fine, once the novelty of crayon on walls wore off, hasn't really been a thing.


It depends what she's using with our daughter, if it's chalk I don't really mind because it's easy to wipe off but crayons is definitely no. She is a good talked for her age so it's easy to explain though she makes the occasional error and will use a pen or a crayon, then she blames the dog.


I keep art supplies other than crayons and color wonder markers out of reach unless supervised. Our rule is they can color/put stickers on any of their paper pads or any cardboard boxes, but nothing else. If they ask I'll let them do stickers on their toddler table/chairs, but that does require permission. They're pretty ok with those rules, I keep several different sizes of paper easily available and a few empty cardboard boxes in random places around the house that they can decorate and play in as much as they'd like and I periodically trade them out when I have a new box available and the existing one is ready to go. Generally they're both pretty good about following the rules, youngest got her crayons taken away for a day twice for coloring the floor and couch and not taking redirection, but it's been at least 6 months since I've had to remind anyone not to color on something they're not supposed to.


Our rules (though I have only an almost two year old) are that you only draw on paper. And we mostly only give him the special markers that only will draw on the special paper. I think its going to be a long time before he can tell the difference between, say, the kitchen wall and a cardboard box or scrap and mom's work documents. But if he is a teenager (say over ten) and wants to decorate his own room? That's his business. (I suppose I also wouldn't care about drawing on himself at that age--for now he doesn't udnerstand the difference and hates the scrubbing that woudl be required to get market off!)


My little guy has tried to draw on the walls or couch. I just say, “markers are for paper. You can draw on the paper.” Or “I can’t let you’d draw on the couch. You can draw on (paper, easel, etc.)”


Are rules are only on paper when she is isn't in her room. But her bedroom is fair game. I told her that they are her walls in her bedroom and she can color on them or paint on them however she likes she is just not allowed to paint or color on furniture, clothes, or the floor. And she's been pretty good about it. When it comes to her skin, I only let her use washable markers or washable paint. Again I don't like it when she colors her clothing but that's because the washable paints and markers aren't really all that washable LOL. But she also has play clothes for all of that mucking about.


Man, now I want to do more artistic stuff with my kids. Neither tries to draw on the walls or toys, although they have both decorated themselves lol, although we do keep crayons and markers put up except when we are using them and painting happens at their outside picnic table. That is covered with dried tempura paint lol. Our family rule is that you have to put up the previous activity/toy before moving on to the next. Our house is just too small for anything else. I actually wouldn't care if they did draw on our walls since it's pretty easy to get crayon off with a magic eraser as long as your paint is easily wipeable, but it hasn't happened. The big sidewalk chalk is kept out all the time though since neither kid tries to eat them and so my husband and I write notes to each other with it and we have a chalkboard wall by the door that we all draw on once in awhile, but mostly the kids just sont ask to draw or color yet. Maybe it's coming? Kiddos are 1 and 3.


That's the rule I'm going to try and inforce as well. We're moving soon and it's a small place as well but we're still super excited. I want to keep things relatively clean though so I'd rather not drowned in toys. All the art supplies stay up unless she asks for them just because I don't want them ruined or lost. I'm hoping it'll teach her to take care of her art stuff so that if she wants more pricey art supplies when she's older she'll take care of them.


Paper, herself and outside is all fair game. Also on me, I'm covered in tattoos so it makes no sense (especially to her mind) to not allow that. Walls and furniture are a no go.


I put up chalkboard stickers on her bedroom wall so she is allowed to draw there or on paper. If she draws on herself or her toys I don’t really care much, if she draws on furniture or off the chalkboard part of her wall I have her help me clean it off. It’s worked pretty well so far, I think I’ve only found marker where it’s not supposed to be twice total though I’m sure as she gets older she’ll get a bit more rowdy lol


My dad let me have a section of the wall and said "this is where you draw on the wall, no where else", and that's where I drew (if I wanted to draw on the wall). He called it "contained chaos". My son (3) doesn't have a lot of interest in drawing, but I let him do it on the carpet. He gets marker all over the carpet. Looks like a rainbow cupcake, haha. But it washes right out with the carpet cleaner so I don't care.


When my son draws on the wall, I quicklytapw a large piece of paper there. He hasn’t drawn on the walls in really long time though. He connected that he needs paper to draw on, without me ever scolding him or anything. If you live in an apartment, ask the maintenance man to give you a small container of the wall paint. You can do your own touch ups and coverups anytime, no stress. You may need a little jar of primer if it’s dark.


I agree with encouraging asking to draw on unusual surfaces. I also have a book that I drew on as a kid and my daughter asks all the time why I did that. So, if she wants to draw on something unconventional, I remind her of mommy’s book. If you choose to draw on it, it will be there forever just like mommy’s book. Shockingly, she usually stops there.


Oh man, I’m so strict about this. She’s only 17 months and she gets to draw on paper when she’s in her high chair or with bath crayons in the bath. I’d like to be more relaxed. My mum always hated me getting messy as a child and wouldn’t let me do stuff and now I’m the same with my kid, which I’m not proud of. I remember always asking to paint with my paint box and never being able to. Definitely need to work on this.


My daughter has a big box of washable Crayola markers and so far they've come out of everything. She doesn't have free access because I don't want her swallowing a cap, though she doesn't put much stuff in her mouth now, and I also don't want them lost or ruined. I wasn't going to let her draw on her clothes but she sat on an opened marker and got a giant splotch on her butt. I was like "oh poo these are new pajamas." But it washed completely out. So now I don't care at all. She draws at the dining room table right now and if she draws on the table I just clean it up with some Lysol. Comes right off. So maybe washable markers would be a good start? My daughter did want to eat them at first so she was closely monitored but after a bit she learned not to bite the markers. They're non toxic so the only thing that happened when she put them in her mouth were funny colored lips but it washes off so easily. I love them. They take a lot of stress out of it.


Thanks for the recommendation!


I’m pretty much the same, paper and coloring books unless she asks. We have a chalk wall in our kitchen just for her, so that prevents most things from getting all over the place. I’m an artist by trade so she knows I have tons of art stuff, and do a lot of digital work as well. So she has a tablet that she’s allowed to draw on when I’m doing digital. But we have also been known to break out the water soluble gel pens and let her doodle on her arms and mine until her hearts content. I’m not too picky, as long as it washes up


What kind of tablet did you get her? I also do some digital work as well and our daughter has shown interest but I've been hesitant with giving her a tablet. But the more time goes by the more I think it might not be a bad idea especially since I wanted to look into ABCMouse for her.


So we started out with the kids amazon fire tablet and just some basic drawing apps and stylus. Now she has my old iPad in a protective case, and doodles with her finger or cheap stylus. Both have been great. I love the iPad a bit more because it’s got a long battery life, and I loaded procreate and all the stuff onto it from my work iPad. Edited to add: we also have educational apps and stuff on her iPad and we can kid lock it easier than the Amazon fire.


I have a section of her room with a whiteboard and that is ok to draw on. Other then that it has to be paper. When she does draw on the regular wall I hand her a wetwipe to clean the wall. She's 3 so she understands now. She sticks to her wall now.


Nothing on the walls or “family Furniture” but if it’s her personal toy room furniture or toys themselves I let her go crazy. It’s not like I’m gonna be reselling her toy kitchen or something and it makes her super happy. (Mine is four now but this has always been the rule, since she could understand)


I keep color wonder markers with the special paper out where my toddler can reach them and help herself. The markers *only* work on the paper so we don't really have to worry about her coloring on things at this stage. Crayons and paints are kept put away and those are still activities I do with my 2 yo at this point because we had an incident where she put red paint on a doll and got **very** upset when the (supposedly washable!) paint permanently stained the doll. The handful of times she's made "a mess" I've just redirected her back to the "acceptable" surface without making a huge deal out of it. We're an artsy family and I want my daughter to grow up with creative freedom but she doesn't fully grasp cause and effect sometimes, especially permanent alterations. For example, she's intentionally ripped paper and become distraught that it wouldn't go back together. Until she's a little older and able to grasp permanence and/or conditional rules (ie, "you can color on *your* walls but not the bedroom walls!" Or, "you can color on your bedroom walls but not the walls in your friend's bedroom.") we're planning to try to keep artwork on paper and the easel.


I live in a rental so drawing/painting on the walls is a no go. My toddler learned that pretty quickly, he has access to tons of papers and drawing boards he can use. I don't mind if he draws on himself or his clothes. There was a lot of redirection at first but he has not tried to draw on the walls since he was about 1.5.


I love it when my 4 yr old draws on my body. She "makes me rainbow!" It washes off with water.


Yes lol my daughter wanted to sit with me while we were playing games with our friends so I set her behind me in the chair and she asked for some of her markers and I figured sure why not? I figured she would draw on my black shirt but she immediately went to my face. I was like "......I should have probably expected this..." But she put so much thought into the colors she used and where she colored it was so cute and half my face was definitely a rainbow after. The markers wash off so easily it didn't bother me lol. I took a pic and sent it to my mom to show off her pretty work. I'm also an adult and they can't have a cow over marker on my skin anymore so it gave me a little petty pride/humor to send her a pic of myself with marker on my face. 😏


Walls? No. I mean it’s happened when my back is turned and a stray crayon if left out, but it’s not allowed. On themselves? Hell yeah. Toys? Yup, they’re their toys, not mine. I have 2 toddlers and pick my battles!


It's good to set some boundaries. When they're older they can break the rules appropriately like you did. My oldest has always been very artsy. I allowed some drawing on skin (more worried about toxic mediums than tattoos) but I didn't allow drawing on furniture or walls. That kid is 20 and still very artistic and only has one tattoo lol. My husband wasn't telling the toddler no when he drew on the walls nor did my husband clean it up. So last week I had the toddler clean it up. He's just a monster, not necessarily artistic lol. So he's not allowed to draw on stuff. We'll see how he turns out.


my almost two year old has a wall in her playroom that we allow her to draw on, everything else is off limits. She has tried to draw on a wall at my aunts house once, but that was shut down fast and she went back to drawing on the white board they have for her. She's not a fan of paper yet since it moves when she draws on it and we want to redo the area her playroom is in anyway so we really don't care.


I think some of the toddler difficulty is a matter of not knowing that what’s acceptable at home is not necessarily acceptable elsewhere. Take me with a grain of salt, though, because my toddler took a PEN to my in-laws’ new TV recently. … *eye twitches*


My personal preference is to keep all drawing to paper and coloring books. I feel like we shouldn’t deface our property. It looks trashy in my opinion. If my children wanted to make an art project I made sure to have all the materials they would need to make that project on the appropriate things. I feel the same about stickers. We never allowed stickers on walls,doors windows or car windows. Things have a proper place to be used. It doesn’t restrict the art.


We only draw on paper and cardboard boxes left for the trash. I have said about a million times that we only draw on paper and have asked her “where is the only plaice that we draw” and she says on paper. She still tests this by drawing on her arm )no big deal) but hasn’t drawn on the wall in awhile took about 100k times before it sunk in though. Repetition does work it just takes like 6 months to a year for my kiddo to stop testing the boundary.


We don’t like cleaning messes, so we try to minimize them. Coloring & drawing is done on paper or in coloring books, or occasionally on a box before it gets recycled. Coloring outside is done with chalk on the driveway. We also have a window crayon that they can use with permission to draw on the front door. I don’t freak out if my kids get some color on their skin, or if they get something washable on their clothes, but they get washed right away when the art activity is done.


You can do whatever you want inside your house. And follow the drawing rules at guests house.


We have a paper only rule. No drawing on the walls or furniture. My husband is an artist too so he’ll draw or paint or create with the kids.