There are few things more precious than a child's artwork, and I was excited for E to start whipping up his own masterpieces. Since everything is still going in his mouth, I had to get a little creative in helping him express his inner artist.
What you'll need:
- finger paint (we have this set of primary colors from Crayola)
- paint pad (we have this one from Strathmore)
- gallon-size Ziploc freezer bags
- painter's tape
Here's how to do it:
1. If needed, trim the paper down to fit inside of the Ziploc.
2. Squeeze a generous blob of paint into the center of the paper.
3. Slip the paper inside of the Ziploc and seal the bag. Make sure it's closed all the way!
4. Tape down the perimeter of the Ziploc. I usually tape the bag down on the laminate floor in our family room, but taping it to the high chair tray will also work.
5. Demonstrate to baby how to squish the paint around. Baby might surprise you in how he interacts with the paint; E was fond of crawling over the top of it.
6. Once baby is done rearranging the paint just so, untape the bag, open it up and pull out the paper. Set the paper aside to dry thoroughly (depending on how much paint you used, this could take a few hours). To cut down on waste, I rinse out the Ziploc and let it dry before sticking it back with the rest of our art supplies for the next time E is in the mood to paint.
7. When the paint is dry, sign and date your little one's masterpiece.
I first tried this activity when E was just shy of 8 months old. It went well, but he was definitely more interested when I tried again a month later. As with any activity, if your baby isn't into it, try again in a week or so. It's worth trying with any baby sitting up well on his own, so from about 6 months on.
This is definitely a shorter activity (I don't think it held E's attention for more than about 5 minutes, though that could be a different story in a few weeks), but the set up and clean up is super simple.
You could expand this activity by experimenting with mixing 2 or more colors. Kelsey of Rising*Shining also recently shared a finger painting activity she did with her toddler.
The Color Kittens by Margaret Wise Brown This was an impulse purchase at the book store one day because I was charmed by the retro illustrations. I don't even think I noticed that it was written by the Margaret Wise Brown. It's a whimsical little tale about two kittens named Brush and Hush that mixes in color theory for the preschool set.
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin, Jr. A classic, and for good reason!
Blue Hat, Green Hat by Sandra Boynton No list of board books is complete without a little Boynton. In this title, animals try on differently colored items of clothing with varying degrees of success.
I Love Colors by Margaret Miller Close ups of babies wearing brightly colored accessories (red bow, orange flower, etc.)
The Artful Parent: Simple Ways to Fill Your Family's Life with Art and Creativity by Jean Van't Hul I picked this up on a whim at the library the other day and am so glad I did. In addition to the 60+ projects promised, Van't Hul also shares some incredibly helpful information on a child's artistic development, and how that can be nurtured by parents.