Baby’s 1st Finger Painting

Infant activities are tough to come by but this was a hit and will be used again in our house for sure. When introducing your tiniest artist to colors and textures a great and safe way to do it is to use purees. No ingredients to worry about just plain veggie or fruit purees that they have already been eating . I don’t plan on packing this one away as a keepsake and would suggest taking a picture and not saving the creation! When my son was a toddler we did yogurt painting but my daughter is still too young for yogurt but toddlers love it!

  1. Gather your materials. I am using a plain white piece of construction paper so there is plenty of contrast. The puree I am using is sweet potato, thick, bright orange and easy to make. All I did was bake a sweet potato then puree it with a hand blender. Please be sure you are only using purees that you have previously introduced to your child and know they will not have adverse reactions to.
  2. Tape your paper down to a high chair tray or table.
  3. Add a small spoonful of puree on the paper. Let your baby explore.While my daughter played I focused on using the words squishy, orange and wet. There is no specific right way of doing this but narrating their exploration ( and their play) is great for verbal development . You might feel silly at first but before you know it you’ll be talking to them about everything and teaching them about a lot too!
  4. When your baby does this it’s time to take the activity away and move on to something else like singing, reading and our favorite dancing!

Remember with infants you must be extra vigilant and never leave an infant unsupervised with any activity. This is not an activity to occupy them so a caregiver can get something done, this is for caregiver and infant to explore together.

Great Book For Babies

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr. is a book that can go with a baby from infancy through toddlerhood and into the preschool years. The bold colors of the illustrations by Eric Carle are perfect for catching infant’s attention and will continue to grab it through the years. With the turn of each page the reader is left wondering what’s next, and if the reader is my son he will cut you off to tell you what’s coming next before you have a chance to turn the page. There are other titles in the series , including ; Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?, Baby Bear, Baby Bear, What Do You See? , and Panda Bear, Panda Bear, What Do You See? but this one is my very favorite! My daughter actually sits looking at these pages instead of simply trying to eat the book, which in my opinion is a great review from a 6 month old!

Best Of 2010

#4

Baby’s 1st

2010 was a wonderful year for our family as we welcomed our daughter into our family and to art time as well. Other than giveaways the post announcing her birth was the most commented on post of  2010. Her first art project though received an incredible amount of views despite being written near the end of the year. I loved getting so many emails and comments about the post inspiring parents to do projects with their infants. 2011 will be filled with  with my youngest getting messy and exploring with her brother and I.

How old were your children when they starting exploring with art?

Baby’s 1st Sensory Tub

I made this sensory activity for my daughter about a week ago and it’s been used daily since. She loves it , the colors, the sounds the blocks make in the dish and the different shapes and textures too. When you are thinking of activities for infants you must consider safety first and remember things that older children may be bored to tears with will probably be perfectly stimulating  for an infant or young toddler. As always remember you must supervise your kids carefully, especially infants.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need  a dish shallow enough for little hands to reach in,baby blocks of different size and/or shape and color. Most of our blocks are hard with a few squeaky blocks mixed in. Make sure you are comfortable with your baby mouthing the contents as that is the main way infants explore and they are big enough not to pose a choking risk.
  2. Have a helper pop them in the dish for you.
  3. Play.
  4. She loves it. It’s loud especially if you have them in a high chair and a wood floor. Label the blocks for them as they hold them, but let them explore without narration too. This is why you need to be ok with them mouthing the contents, it’s developmentally appropriate and feels especially good on teething gums. If they are not interested or turn their heads avoiding looking at the tub , remove it. An overstimulated infant is no fun for them or you and if it’s too much that’s ok. Snuggle, sing, read or go for a quiet walk.

Homemade Gift: Discovery Bottles

Letter of The Week will return after the holidays but for now holiday kids crafts, homemade gifts and books will be filling your screen! This is not an original idea as long as I have worked with kids I have made and played with these. I am actually making these for my son’s preschool but plan on making one for my daughter’s stocking, they are great toys for babies.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need empty water bottles with their lids, hot glue gun, glitter, oil, water, food coloring and shampoo( karo syrup or  hair gel is much cheaper… I just had a ton of this shampoo on hand). You may also want a funnel.
  2. Start by removing the labels from the bottles.
  3. Next add the contentsWe started with the green bottle with  shampoo , glitter and green food coloring. When this one is done the glitter will slowly move through the shampoo ( or hair gel or karo syrup). We used a funnel to fill it and my son watched it slowly fill pretending it was a soft serve ice cream machine. 
  4. The next bottle was the yellow bubble bottle with yellow food coloring, glitter , one squirt of shampoo and filled halfway with water . When it’s done the children can make bubbles by shaking it.
  5. The next was the blue glitter bottle – water and glitter. When it’s done the glitter will swirl through the water.
  6. The final one was half oil , red food coloring, water and red glitter. This one has always been my favorite, the water and oil will resist mixing and children can make gentle waves without much effort as well.
  7. Hot glue the lid on, do not let even older kids do this. I have been using hot glue guns for oh 25 years and I burned myself with every bottle!  I added colored tape to the outside as well.  Let sit a few hours before playing with it, and test it over the sink before passing it to a child.

Remember that even with careful gluing these things break . I had an oil and sparkles one break in my kitchen when my son was a baby. The lid broke in two! Lesson is to stick to playing with them in places that are easy to clean and always supervise children with these, always!