Little Man does not like to paint. He doesn’t like to paint with his fingers, with a brush, and he certainly doesn’t like it all over his feet. But sometimes we have to take a step outside our comfort zone. This is the finished product of a family portrait. I don’t know about you guys; but getting Little Man to not only sit still for a family picture but to also smile, is impossible. This was a great way to get a representation of all of us, in very truthful format. You can clearly see that the littlest hands (Little Man’s) were not spread out all the way on the left, because he curled up his hand. You can also see that he kicked his right foot and smeared the paint. And you know what? That makes it all the better. It shows how he was uncomfortable with the situation, but managed to make the best of it.
Get whoever has the biggest feet, to put their feet down first (in order to measure how much paper you will need). My husband is a size 13, so we needed a big piece of paper. You also have to make sure you have enough room for all of the members of your family.
The first person to paint their feet should be the person with the biggest feet. I recommend using a different shade of paint for each person; that way the paints don’t get mixed up on the paper. Have the person paint paint one foot and set it down on the paper. Have them wash their foot, then paint the other foot and set it down a few inches away from the first one. Have them wash their other foot. Now do each person in the family, moving around the paper. You can put them closer together or further away, depending on personal preference.
Using the person that has the biggest hands (dad again) and have them put their hands on top;to see if there is enough room on the paper. If there isn’t enough room, you have to get another piece of paper to make room. No worries. Just add some tape to the back and tack it on. Then, help dad paint both of his hands in a color of his choosing. Have him put his hands on the paper and peal off. Voila! Flower one is done! Now do the same with each of the members of the family. Remember to move them around the paper, and feel free to over lap them.
Draw lines from the flowers down to the leaves. Also in step three, paint the middle of the flowers yellow (for pollen).
And you’re DONE!
Is it the most beautiful painting you have ever seen? Probably not. But it shows a connection between the family members, while also showcasing their uniqueness and personality. What are you going to do with it when you are done? I have no idea. Ours ended up being 24 inches by 24 inches, I don’t know if it will fit in a frame; but I’m going to look for one. You can tack it on the fridge, hang it in one of the kids’ rooms, or tack it up on the wall. Any way you decide to showcase it is fine.
So what is the point of this blog? What does it have to do with Autism? The point is; it brought the family together for a few minutes. It gave us time to bond by listening to Sissy squeal from paint on her hands, listen to Daddy laugh from paint in between his toes, and the Little Man had to step outside his comfort zone. It’s important for everyone, not just people with Autism, to experience new things. He had never had paint on his hands or feet before today. He cried a little bit when his feet got put on the paper, but was more upset over them being put into the tub to get washed. He was upset about his hands being painted, but put up with it more because we had just painted his feet. He was quick to withdraw his hands, but didn’t cry. If we persist and do this once a week or so; eventually he will get to the point where it doesn’t bother him. Or maybe it will, but he will tolerate it more. Either way, it was a way for the family to come together. And now it is up on the wall, where everyone can appreciate our family.
For an added bonus; you could paint finger bees (use your finger print to paint a bee) and butterflies (by using the side of your hand).