Friday, 26 August 2016

My Tree of Life for Johnson's Baby Wipes Messy Play Activity

I was sent a messy play paint kit by Johnson's Baby so that we could put their new baby wet wipes through their paces. Their new wipes dispense one wipe at a time. 
Despite being good at art myself at school I rarely get arty or crafty with my kids, so the only thing I could think to do was hand painting, so that Lottie could join in, given that she's too young to hold a paint brush. I got hung up on the fact we were sent a canvas and thought "that means it needs to be good", as in, they can't just swish the paint around as "I wouldn't frame that!" Silly thoughts I know, as with hindsight of course I would have wanted to frame whatever the two of them created what with it being Lottie's first ever painting session. But, I thought "it's canvas, it needs to be grand" so I decided that their hand-prints would form part of a family tree. Initially that meant I would paint a tree and there would be four handprints on it: Mummy Daddy Aaron and Lottie but when I Googled images for reference I stumbled on a tree of life that had a woman as the body of the tree and then I couldn't get the idea out of my head. This meant I was the tree, holding two baby hands and after creating it I was left wondering where Daddy comes in.

It gets worse. By the time I got round to painting the tree, we'd run out of our Johnson's Baby Wipes. I know! You couldn't make it up. They were used for anything and everything - God wipes come in handy when you have two kids and it's the Summer holidays. 

So, we went ahead with the painting but my Cooperative wipes didn't really cut it getting the paint off Aaron's hands and I washed Lottie's with water anyway. I made the mistake of using the poster paint neat without diluting it with water so Aaron's handprint came out as below so I decided to draw around his hand, get an outline and then fill it in myself by painting.
Aaron said "Mummy the wipes are wiping the paint in not off" so I knew the Cooperative wipes weren't cutting the mustard and couldn't wait to replace my Johnson's Baby ones knowing they would work having read Forget Me Knit's review.

Lottie adored getting covered in paint and doing her hand print. She was beyond thrilled:
I knew she would not stay still enough for me to draw around her hand so I used my normal Ikea paint which is more fluid which meant I got a good strong print first off. I was amazed at one, getting her whole hand covered as babies of her age often keep their hands in a fist and two, I did the print without her moving her hand and splodging all over the canvas. You can see above, that her hand has the proper texture of a print. I just smoothed out the edges a tiny bit with a brush. Anyway, the paint did go on her clothes but as it was water based I wasn't bothered. Aaron had the apron on even though it was too small for him, as I knew he'd be tickled by it and therefore more engaged. I did try it on Lottie later and actually although it was too big for her, it just meant there was a lot of fabric on the arms, but due to the elasticated cuffs it didn't at all pose a problem, so I think it'll be hers from now on.

Once the two of them had fun doing their hand prints, I then made it a job for me, to make this piece of art as good as possible, but all I kept thinking was how rusty I am. Like my last post where I said I am rusty at vlogging it seems I am also rusty at painting. The brushes were synthetic though (children's ones) and it was quite hard painting with them which I only realised after was the reason.

I did my best and although I don't LOVE it, this is what I came up with
There are many layers to this. It shows the sun, solar masculine energy and the moon, feminine lunar energy. It shows that me and Daddy share the roots that have created our children, both biologically and their foundation/home. It shows that Aaron's hand is so very large compared to Lottie's. It shows that mainly as the primary carer I do the juggling act alone, so although they are growing out of me to represent my growing them in my womb it represents so much more. The daily balancing act when Daddy is at work. Oh and the reason he is stood like that is because I drew his silhouette by copying a photo of him I had. Daddy said it looks like he is looming over us LOL, but it probably does represent that he is looking on at a distance from work, whilst we are dancing around. But we created them together. Have our "roots" together and have lots of quality family time when he's not at work.

The poster paint included gold and silver so the roots are silver and Aaron is gold, as I am trying to show show signs of alchemy to represent the miracle that is creation. I have also put silver on the moon and the sun to highlight that we are so very linked to them. I do think it needs tweaking and improving before I'd consider framing it, but it's been an interesting cathartic project nonetheless.

But over to the wipes themselves. We did finally replace both packs: the all over baby wipes and the extra sensitive baby wipes, because Johnson's were kind enough to send us some more phew. I actually covered Aaron's hands in gold paint again to try them and they work! So it proves you get what you pay for:
So the new dispensing system...? Well, it means you get one wipe out at a time which is convenient when you are trying to use them sparingly, which I know only too well having got through so many this Summer holidays. The rigid lid means (1) it's easy to open one-handed (2) they stay sealed so you don't end up with a top dry wipe which is so incredibly annoying and (3) as it is thin, they're not bulky in your bag. Normally rigid lids are a big chunk of plastic (like on my nappy bags) which makes them harder to fit in a bag. Incidentally the one on my nappy bags has fallen off anyway (they're cooperative too) and plus in our recycling conscious days that's just too much plastic. The Johnson's lid is just the normal packaging only reinforced a little. I must admit though, on one of my original packs before getting more (the Extra Sensitive packet), the point where the lid folds did crack, from being opened and closed too often, but it might have been a one-off as it didn't happen with the other pink (non sensitive skin) packet. 
I don't go anywhere without wipes and don't even consider them baby wipes as they can be used for a whole host of things like when Aaron gets muddy knees or hands and Daddy always keeps a packet in the car. Despite Aaron being six years old I had not stopped buying them before Lottie came along. Tonight though I did use wipes to clear her face up after dinner. I love that Johnson's baby do an extra sensitive wipe as Lottie does occasionally have flare ups like when her chest gets too wet from dribbling. Don't use those dribble bibs they are useless, it's plastic backed all the way now!

Both Johnson's Extra Sensitive Baby Wipes and Johnson's Gentle All Over Baby Wipes have been formulated to minimise the risk of allergies. Both have a no more tears formulation with the Johnson's lotion consisting of 97% pure water. Johnson's is a registered trademark of Johnson & Johnson Ltd. Both types have been gentle on Lottie's skin.

I would say that neither of the wipes have an overwhelming smell and like I said above Johnson's definitely performed better at getting the paint off Aaron's hands. I do like the new dispensing system and will update this post when I have finished the two recent packs so that I can confirm - hopefully - that my lid cracking was only a one-off. To be fair it did happen towards the end of the pack.

Disclosure: we were sent a pink pack and a yellow pack of Johnson's Baby Wipes (ohnson's Extra Sensitive Baby Wipes and Johnson's Gentle All Over Baby Wipes) and a messy play paint kit. This consisted of brushes, paint, an apron and a canvas. We were also sent 2 replacement packs of wipes.

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