Painting with an infant is messy. I don’t like using paint brushes with tiny kids because paint flings everywhere, they look like spoons so they tend to go straight in the mouth and even ones with thicker handles are hard for little hands. Instead using easy to wash plastic toys like these blocks are a great way to paint and explore .
- Gather your materials. You will need some paper, paint, blocks, plastic plate, painter’s tape and an eager baby.
- Start by using the painter’s tape to secure the paper. This is a must for us, for whatever reason my daughter has a serious fondness for paper. This keeps it as art instead of food.
- Pour some paint on the plate.
- Dip the block in and go for it.
- She examined it for a long time.
- Then started moving it around the paper. I took the other block and tapped it on the paper but she wanted to roll . It’s tempting to show babies and toddlers how to do things by holding their hands in yours and moving them, resist that urge when it’s a free exploration like this . Show them by example and then just narrate what they are doing. *( ETA – reader Brooke asked for an explanation about this and I want to make it clear that it’s not wrong to help your child do tasks by holding their hands , I was referring to free art explorations like this. My reasoning being that by letting them explore with their own motivation that they will direct their own play. I hope that clears it up ! Thanks Brooke!)
- She managed to get it up to her mouth but because the blocks are big not much made it in and was easy to wipe off.
With toddlers and preschoolers you can make fun shape prints with the blocks by slamming it down so if you have multiple ages this is a fun easy project for a rainy day.
another fabulous idea!! i think my little boy–>18 months would enjoy this and by taping the paper the mess is contained….or am i just a wishful thinker??
It’s not bad – use way less paint or even a washable stamp pad!
I just love seeing babies covered in paint! Stella really gets into painting, almost as much as she loves food. lol! I think I’ll try this with her today!
Thanks for sharing!
The Activity Mom says
I giggled when I read your post because my N is the same way. She puts EVERYTHING in her mouth and my oldest never did that. =)
Oh if you look back ( not even that far) you’ll see my son put everything in his mouth. I still catch him sometimes!
Jennifer Kaczmarek says
Wonderful idea — and thanks for paying attention to art for babies. I find most websites (understandably so) focus on age three and above for art stuff. What kind of paint do you like to use? Thanks again!
I use crayola kids washable paint https://www.notimeforflashcards.com/supply-list I like it and the small bottles are easy to store.
Those chubby baby fingers are the best!!!!!!
How old do you start activities like this with your kids? Thanks Allie!
That came out great! A masterpiece 🙂 Looked like such fun for her!
Thanks for showing some things for the little ones. What age was your son when you started this blog? My daughter is 18 months now and I have a hard time thinking of creative crafts. If I were to go back in your archive, would I find age appropriate stuff for her?
My son was 15 months when we started, almost exactly 3 years ago. Look at the under age tab https://www.notimeforflashcards.com/category/age-under-2-years – and beginners https://www.notimeforflashcards.com/crafts/beginners
Great Idea! I’m just wondering why you say grown-ups shouldn’t show toddlers how to do something by putting your hand on theirs? It’s a bodily-kinesthetic experience that in all my years of teaching I found to be useful for early writers, especially struggling early writers. As long as the grown-up is only slightly grasping a child’s hand and not relying only on this method I don’t think harm can be done. This works great with my 3 year old.
I meant infants, especially ones that are new and exploring. I said it meaning it as a way to encourage people to let free exploration and not making their infants doing it the “right” way. – I need to go back and make that clear. I agree and have most definitely done the same thing as you. Ack thanks for pointing that out, I don’t want to confuse parents. Off to add more explanation!
Thanks for the explanation Allie! You are doing a WONDERFUL thing here! & I love those baby chubby fingers too 🙂
I’m a little new at this, I have a 1 year old daughter, my very first. Is this pain safe for her to put in her mouth, she like to put literally everything in her mouth, I’m sure there’s a special paint for that. What’s it called?
Allison McDonald says
The paint I used was Crayola kid paint which is toxic free. If you are concerned you can always make finger paint yourself – I have an easy recipe! https://www.notimeforflashcards.com/2014/02/easy-finger-paint-recipe.html