August 22, 2016 01:15 PM

Jana Cruder

Being a mom to 3½-year-old son Aden John Tanner and daughter Ariah Talea, 13 months, has helped Tamera Mowry-Housley to have a new appreciation for the little things.

“They have taught me to be present and enjoy the most simple things in life,” The Real cohost, 38, tells PEOPLE of her children with husband Adam Housley. “It gives me so much joy, especially as a busy mom, just giving them a bath, reading them a book, brushing our teeth together. They taught me how to have fun in the most simple moments.”

One of her favorite things to do with her kids is finger painting.

“Aden’s loved it ever since he was 6 months, so I wanted to introduce finger painting to Ariah,” says Mowry-Housley. “I love seeing the curiosity on Aden’s face, and now Ariah‘s. It’s cool to see them do it together.”

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Aden jumps right in when it’s time to paint, but Ariah can be a little more hesitant.

“Aden has lots of energy, and he’s very curious and likes to get his hands into anything and everything, so painting is always very fun,” says the actress. “[Ariah] was a little girly with it. At first she didn’t like a lot of [paint] on her hands, but I think she enjoyed it!”

In order to make the crafting process stress-free, Mowry-Housley tries to create an area that is child-safe — and as mess-proof as possible.

“I’ll try my best to have the space childproof so that I can relax and then watch them just create and have fun,” she says. “I used to [finger paint] with just regular paint, and I learned the hard way, so I am very, very grateful for washable crayon and washable paint because as a parent, it just makes you a little bit less anxious.”

She’s also created a playroom for the kids as a designated space for crafting.

“If you let them carry a crayon or marker all around the house, they’ll think that any wall is okay to draw on,” says the mom of two. “Aden once got a Sharpee somewhere, and he painted all over our bathroom cabinet. That wasn’t fun!”

For more from Tamera Mowry-Housley, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands now.

Gabrielle Olya

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