Painting with Babies
As our babies approach their first birthday, it made me reflect on the activities that I have been providing for them at home. Although I make sure that they have a selection of items to play with (see our Alternative Baby Toys for inspiration), I must admit that I haven’t made such an effort with the ‘messy play’ side of things.
So, after completing my first week of working full time and feeling like I needed to spend quality time with Beatrice and Francis this weekend, I wanted to provide a new and exciting activity for them both to enjoy. So, our messy play activity today was…
P A I N T I N G !
This was their first time painting so I had no idea what to expect. I know there are recipes out there to make edible baby paint, but I decided to use basic poster paint from ikea. So long as I made sure they didn’t eat it, this paint would be ok to use.
I decided to strip them down to their nappies to minimise the paint splattering/destruction! This would make cleaning up a lot easier at the end. Knowing that babies can only concentrate for a short period of time, I also ran a bath before we started so that we were ready to throw them straight in at the first sight of boredom (you know the sort of destruction these babies can make when in an empty room…I was too scared to risk seeing what they would be like if I sat them for too long whilst covered in paint…!). I squeezed a tiny amount of coloured paint onto their trays with the intention of just letting them explore. I prepared some paper ready to take a print of what they produced at the end.
As Pete and I strapped both babies into their highchairs they were desperate to get their hands into the paint to find out what this unfamiliar thing was! Beatrice attempted to put her fingers straight into her mouth numerous amounts of times so we had to regularly remind her not to. After a couple of reminders Francis only made marks with his paint, he didn’t try to eat it at all.
Talking about making marks, I loved how this activity naturally evolved as the paint started to dry. After spreading it across his tray, Francis’ nails started to scratch some of the paint off, thus creating different marks! I modelled how to do this and he copied. It was fascinating to watch him explore this new experience. You could actually see his brain working, making new connections throughout this activity.
At the end I printed the marks that they had made onto paper, quickly put them into the bath to wash away the paint and cleaned their highchairs in no time at all. It was SO much fun not only for Beatrice and Francis, but for us as parents to see them enjoying themselves with an activity that didn’t take a lot of effort or money to set up. It makes me even more excited to think of how to adapt this activity for next time! Watch this space…
Love, The Foxfaires x