face paint wiggly kidHave you ever tried face painting a wiggly child? Yes, it can be fun and exciting but can also be a little difficult. Not to mention that all the stray lines that can be made when your face paintee is bouncing around can make you seem like an amateur painter.

Usually, most kids behave better with strangers than with their parents or siblings. If this is how your client behaves, lucky you! But, as expected, there are exceptions with kids who just won’t sit still. Some might even scratch their face and mess up your hard work. Thankfully, there are ways to keep kids focused while painting their faces. Read on to get into these tips.

  1. Give them ‘the warning’

    Scolding children that you don’t know or don’t know you can be intimidating, but it’s important that the child understands the consequences of not keeping still. When you paint faces, there is one most important warning, and it goes something like this:

    “If you squirm or wiggle, I could poke you in the eye and/or get paint in your nose by mistake!”

    Say this seriously so the child understands you not joking around. Be sure to enforce the seriousness of this and how it can ruin everything. If you are lucky enough to get the kid’s attention and the message sinks in, they will sit still for like half the time. Yes, half the time is the best you can hope for before they forget and you have to move on to other options.

  2. Ask them to keep their eyes closed

    This could be close to all you need if your client cooperates because it takes away a lot of sensory loads. They can’t see distractions but have to focus on your voice as you talk them through the process. Keep your little client engaged with topics they seem to like. If you’re painting a popular TV show hero, ask them what their favorite episode was!

  3. Remind them wiggling could ruin the design

    Kids might be squirmy but the fear of looking bad at the end of the session and before their friends can make them cooperate. Remind them that their butterfly might look weird or smushed and that’s no good. It works well on the older kids but little ones might not care.

  4. Take wiggle breaks

    Even parents know that sometimes, the best way to get a child to cooperate is to give them what they want. Give wiggle breaks in between your work. It could be as small as a minute or two when you need to change a color or get a gemstone ready.

  5. Save yourself the trouble

    No one wants to lose business but it’s common to see parents who want to force their child to get their face painted. To avoid regretting your efforts, be bold enough to turn them away if the child seems genuinely uninterested. It’s not up to you to convince a child to get his/her face painted. Most of your clients come willing and excited and this makes things easier.

  6. Paint quick designs with smaller kids

    The little ones wiggle more and doing complex long designs can backfire. Discuss a simple, quick design with the parents to get it done quickly while their cooperation lasts. Smaller kids can quickly burst into tears and refuse to continue. Overall enjoy painting and try to make it the best experience for your little client too.

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