Feed the Birds

By Andrea Mulder-Slater

My daughter has become rather proficient with the paintbrush, having created countless watercolor and acrylic masterpieces with her dad and I. So, on this day, I thought she might enjoy painting of a different kind.

We had a few unfinished wooden bird feeders that we had picked up from a dollar store last summer. I asked the girl if she wanted to paint one and without hesitation (while grabbing her apron), she replied, “okay”.

  • Garbage bag taped onto the table. Check.
  • Plastic apron on the girl. Check.
  • Three paintbrushes. Check, check.
  • Warm water to rinse the brushes and paper towel to clean the inevitable. Check, check.
  • An assortment of paints – (some acrylic, some watercolor out of a tube). Check.
  • Empty egg carton (priceless for this kind of activity). Checkerooni.

With the paints squeezed nicely into the egg cartons, we began…

Turquoise, white, navy blue, ruby red red and forest green were the colors of choice and my 2 year old dove in without hesitation.

First the paintbrush was used. Then, fingers became involved. The colors flew - on the birdfeeder, the table, the wall, my arm… All surfaces proved to be ideal canvases for my daughter's creative expressions.

I completely forgot about all the work I had fallen behind in and for one fabulous hour, I became lost in my daughter’s dazzling world of childhood creativity. 

It was exhilarating and such fun. So much so, that we painted another – and another… until we ran out of birdfeeders. 

Then, we switched to rocks.

No… Really.