Now don't get me wrong, this does not rule out including art in their lives altogether. When they are still too young to use art materials you can still be building their visual dictionary by showing and talking to them about art.
But back to the dilemma of art projects with babies. Sage just turned 1 year old and we, my art partner in crime Mr. Cyrus, have decided to start including him in on some of our art projects. Sage is usually entertained by snacks in his high chair while Cy works.
Our materials are still a bit limited because not only does everything go in Sage's mouth he even eats it. We've caught him a few times with crayon pieces all over his mouth and in his teeth. Yum. He also likes to get a hold of (clean) paint brushes and put them in his mouth.
So we went for finger painting, which did end up to be more like full body painting. A few tips: make sure to use non-toxic paints, get baby in play clothes or just a diaper, pick a room where the floor will clean up easily and block all exits.
- Crayola washable, non-toxic paint
- Large paper or paper roll
- Optional found objects- we used cars and hair picks to drag through the paint
Cy got right in there, showing Sage how the paint can be spread all over the paper using their hands.
At first Sage did put his hands in the paint and then directly into his mouth. It took a few tries then he got the idea it was to paint on the paper with and not to taste.
Sage liked exploring the feel of the paint, smushing it in his hands and at times rubbing it on his body. He really got into the idea of running the cars and hair picks through the paint. I tried to think of "tools" he could use that wouldn't go right into his mouth.
They both had a blast, rubbing, smushing, smearing, rolling and walking through the paint. Sage's attention span lasted about 10 minutes for the project, which is expected. As he gets to play and experiment with more art materials his attention span, interest and understanding of materials will grow.
Luckily Sean came home just in time to help grab one kid while I got the other and we carried them right up to the bathtub.
So we are still working on the concept art materials are to paint/ draw with and not to eat, but we'll get there. In a couple months there will be so many more materials/ projects we'll be able to all do together. Stop by Friday for a few of my favorite baby/toddler art materials and project ideas.
And keep on EXPLORING ART- Baby!