You know what's also therapeutic? Barrettes.
I've not yet run across a kid who doesn't love painting.
Here is E's road:
I don't know what happened up there in the right hand corner. But it doesn't look good! ;-)
I recommend this paint. You can find it at Wal-Mart and Target, for cheaper than that link.
We put it on a sturdy paper plate that has a lip.
S likes to do her own thing, so first she colored, and then when everyone else was about done, she dove into the painting.
I rarely use smocks, but you could. I find that if I'm sitting right there with a baby wipe in my hand, the mess never gets too out of control. I just don't know that I will EVER stop buying baby wipes. Even though we are technically past that stage now.