Eli and I have tried a few different ideas for painting in recent weeks. Both of these ideas were found on pinterest (of course!!!) and I thought they seemed easy enough to do with Eli, so we tried them out.
The first idea was to put some paint into a gallon size plastic bag and then seal it so that the child can “paint” inside the bag, without getting the paint all over themselves or everything else in your house. (Sounds good to me!!!) I did this activity two different times, using the Crayola non-toxic paint. I bought two 10 packs of the Crayola paints, one was the “normal” colors and the other was neon colors. The first time we did the activity we used the normal rainbow colors and I put four different colors into the bag; red, blue, yellow, and green. Then, I sealed the bag and gave it to Eli in his highchair. I figured if he had the tray on the highchair and he was sitting, he would be more intrigued by the painting, without having to think about holding himself up or crawling around everywhere on the floor. He seemed to like the idea of painting and the colors, picking up the bag, squeezing it, looking at the colors, etc. I did have to show him how to push the paint around a couple of times before he really caught on, but once he did, he liked it a lot. The second time we did this, we used the neon colors and I put out all the colors and had Eli pick four colors. I gave him choices of two colors, and the bottle he picked up or touched was the one we put in the plastic bag. This time, we had the painting bag in the playroom area of our basement and there is a coffee table there that Eli can stand at and is tall enough to use it to paint on. Again, I had to show him about squishing the paint around, but once I showed him once, he seemed to remember the previous painting in the bag experience and went to town pushing the colors together, picking up the bag and looking at the colors, etc. Here are some pics:
The second idea for painting fun was to make edible finger paint, since he is too young to get the idea of painting without putting it in his mouth! So the idea I found was to use plain yogurt and make the colors with Kool-Aid packets. We bought a few at the grocery store one week but they only had cherry, lemonade, grape, and fruit punch flavors. The cherry and fruit punch are both red, so we ended up with two red paints (one lighter than the other), a purple, and a yellow. You could mix different colors as well, but we didn’t do that this time. Anyway, I put one large spoonful of the yogurt into a plastic container for each packet of Kool-Aid I had and then I mixed in a bit of the packet to the desired color. The more of the mixture you put in, the darker the color will be. I had enough left over of each packet that I can do this activity again, so it is pretty cost effective too! I mixed the “paints” while E was napping one day and then put the containers in the refrigerator so I had them ready to go on the desired day. BTW, this is a good rainy day activity since you can do it indoors, etc. We had an extra shower curtain liner so we laid that down on the kitchen floor and then put a piece of white bulletin board paper (I have a roll of it) on top of the liner. This way it made for easy clean-up and if E went off the paper, that was ok, because we could just hose the liner off, instead of having to mop the floor. Anyway, after we laid all of that out, we got the containers out and put them in front of him. He did touch it but was more interested in stacking the containers (that’s one of his favorite activities right now…stacking), so we poured out a bit of the paint on the paper for him and he went for it right away, pushing the paint everywhere, mixing the colors, sliding through it. He was having so much fun. This was definitely a good sensory activity for him as it was cold, slippery, etc., but also smelled and tasted good (he didn’t eat as much of it as I thought he might). We also did this activity right before bath time, so he had eaten dinner and could have not been hungry…he may have eaten more if this had been when he woke up from his nap. Anyway, we did have some “paint” leftover, so again, we can do this activity again soon, without having to buy more materials. Check it out: