I can see both sides of the argument.
The one side says, Oh horrors, don't let the child paint her feet (and the world, let's face it) with markers!
The other side says, Let them be creative - use washable markers and all is well.
The problem with Side #1, at least for my life, is that I hate crayons. I know, it's weird, but the paper around a crayon gives me the heebie-jeebies. I hate it. I don't like the way crayons draw, either. They're feeble instruments. I much prefer markers. So if I'm going to spend time scribbling with my child, which I do, we're going to use markers.
You could still say, Fine, but watch her, keep her from marking anywhere but the paper. That's all well and good, except that I get kind of involved in my scribbling... I concentrate, and when I concentrate, I am not paying attention to the baby, and it only takes a moment of that and she's gone Pollack all over her legs... In other words, while I agree with Side #1, it just ain't happening.
The problem with Side #2?: They SAY they're washable - but they are not washable. I mean, I guess you can wash the walls, the tambourine, the doors, the bathtub all you like -- but the stuff isn't coming off. So far. So you might argue that you're encouraging artistic expression, when what you're really doing is setting your child up to be a tattooed vandal spraypainting freeway overpasses with the same unintelligible words they were using as toddlers.
Those of you appalled at my daughter bound for Hippiedom due to my lack of parental control need not fear. Josephine already has manners (Please and Thank you), and we are setting boundaries and sticking to them. They just don't happen to be this one. Yet.
I'm off to scrub the tambourine.