What’s in your kids’ paint? Does it contain petroleum derivatives? Fungicides? Bactericides? Artificial ingredients of unknown origin? Do you even know? I don’t!
My kiddos do a LOT of painting, with all different kinds of paints. They’ve done tempera and acrylics, oils and watercolors–heck, they even spray paint!–but I can say for a fact that they have never before used completely natural, completely toxin-free, completely artificial chemical-free paint (other than mud, of course) until they painted with Earth Paint.
Earth Paint has a fascinating origin story. Its creators, Leah and Drew, source their clay and mineral pigments sustainably from their environment, dry them, grind them, sift them, and combine them with a milk powder binder (other binders historically used in paint mixing include honey, urine, and blood, just so you know). The Children’s Earth Paint set includes one package each of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and brown, and the little plastic cups to mix them in, so that I didn’t have to drag out my old Mason jars this time.
My younger daughter measured out pigment and water in a 1:1 ratio, my older daughter stirred them together, and off the two girls went! Willow, who’s seven, painted one large painting and then excused herself to go back inside (I later found her sound asleep on the couch with fever-flushed cheeks, poor babe), but my five-year-old Syd and I made an afternoon out of painting; the kid created seven major pieces of art on Strathmore acrylic paper, then painted her hands and feet and stomped and crawled all over a couple of giant pieces of newsprint, and THEN splatter-painted the deck with the rest of the paint. And then she hosed it off again.
The consistency of Earth Paint is nearly identical to powdered tempera, and brushes on just as smoothly and stays put as well as you’d expect paint to do. Unlike tempera, however, Earth Paint is said to be archival–those cave paintings from Lascaux are still around, after all. The tone of each color is visibly a little dark, which makes sense since they’re made from earth and mineral pigments, but nevertheless, red is clearly red, and yellow is clearly yellow, etc. The earthy tones reminded me of Waldorf and other nature-oriented color schemes, and would also make a very good fit with those types of programs. The packaging of each color is also quite generous; we did a lot of painting, and yet used perhaps 1/5 of the amount of each color, so we have plenty more painting sessions ahead of us. I rinsed the paint cups and replaced them in the Earth Paint package, so that we can re-use those, as well.
Conclusion? Easy-to-use, kid-friendly, eco-friendly, looks good, and the kiddos really, really liked it!
Do kid-friendly, eco-friendly, earth-based paints sound intriguing? Then you’re in luck! Earth Paint is hosting a giveaway of their Earth Paint Kit for Children, so check back in with Crafting a Green World tomorrow for the details on how to enter.
Full Disclosure: I–or rather, my kiddos–received a free Earth Paint for Children kit, because I can’t review a paint set unless my daughter has spent an afternoon basically bathing in it.