Friday, December 12, 2008

Less Toxic Children's Art

A couple of weeks ago, I had three of my grandchildren come over and help me put up Christmas decorations. As we took the items out of the storage boxes, we discovered that one of the favorites, a plastic snowman, had lost his carrot nose. The kids were relieved when I found the nose in the bottom of the box, and they insisted that I glue it back on. But with what? Superglue would work best, but I would certainly have a reaction to that toxic substance. I got into the kids' art supply box and pulled out the school glue, but the nose just wouldn't stay on with the sticky white stuff. Finally, I tried a piece of tape--not very attractive, but it seemed to do the trick.

This incident got me to thinking about kids' art materials. Just how safe is school glue anyway? And what about those marking pens or even the 144 different colors of crayons?

Today I took those same grandchildren to a children's art workshop at our local art museum, where they painted and glued the most beautiful Christmas trees. While the kids focused on their artful masterpieces, one of the other adults asked the artist in charge about the toxicity of the materials the kids were using. As my ears perked up, I heard that this particular artist teaches a seminar in chemically-safe children's art materials, and the museum store has just started carrying art kits and materials that are safer for kids than what you would find in the art aisle of your favorite superstore.

The kids were anxious to take their creations home after the activity, so I didn't get a chance to look in the museum store or find out when the next seminar on children's art materials is being held, but I'll be stopping by next week, without the children, to check it all out. And maybe I'll find something safe for me to use to re-attach the snowman's nose, which, alas, has fallen off again.


Becca said...

I believe I know which snowman you're talking about -- a sad affair indeed for it to lose its nose :). What a great artist to use less toxic stuff! That's pretty amazing (as I'm sure were the kids' creations).

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CatherineWO said...

Hi Friends,
I have changed the identity settings for comments because I received a pretty awful spam comment that linked to porno sites. (I deleted the comment, of course.) Please let me know if this change is a problem for any of my regular commenters. This is the first time this has happened to me, and I don't want it to happen again.