Ok, not really, unless it's the kind by Wilton with which you can decorate cookies. But do let kids paint! Or color...or bake...or create dinosaurs out of modeling clay or do anything that's fun and creative and yes, a little bit messy. Letting kids paint on an 8x10 piece of construction paper is nice. Adding in a little glue and glitter is even better. But, letting them paint the windows of your home is AWESOME!
And sometimes they might paint their bodies too... that's also cool.
Being an artist it's not surprising that one of my favorite things to do with my children is artwork, and it's not just because I'm good at it or I have the patience for it, it's because I love that our artistic activities foster their creativity and imaginations. And by letting things get a little bit messy they can relax and just be kids! There's always so many rules by which they have to abide it's nice to just let go every once and a while and say "Guess what we're doing this afternoon? Painting on the walls!!!"
My son goes to the most amazing pre-school. I'm obsessed with the place. Recently they started learning about Jackson Pollack (he's not even four and he can recognize a Pollack painting...sorry I'm a Jewish mother, I can't help myself). If they raise enough funds after Pesach the teacher is buying each student a 2 x 3 ft canvas on which each child can create their own Pollack painting by drip painting it like Pollack did. I love the idea of my son throwing paint on a canvas with abandon, allowing beauty to form from the freedom of letting a child do what he does best...making an awesome mess!