Can babies make art? They sure can. Exploring the world of art and creativity with your baby is a fun and wonderful experience for both parents and babies.
There are many benefits for babies engaging in art. Some of the benefits include sensory development with textures, colours, and smells. Both brain and body need to work together as fine motor skills and cognitive development come into play. Creative pursuits are also a beautiful family bonding experience when done with parents and siblings.
Art activities with babies can be messy but don't always have to be. We suggest getting an art smock that can be easily sourced from craft stores or op shops and working outside, which reduces the mess. An old T-shirt from a sibling or parent can work as well! We’ve put together a few art activities to try with your baby, some slightly messy, others not so much.
Check them out below!
Bubble Wrap Baby Art
We have all been purchasing lots of items online of late, and with those items comes lots of packaging and bubble wrap. A fabulous way you can recycle your bubble wrap is by using it with your baby to create a wonderfully sensory artistic masterpiece. Bubble wrap creates some fantastic shapes and has an interesting texture. Your baby will love popping it, touching it and listening to the sounds it makes. You can also use bubble wrap over edible paint for an easy art activity. Place a few dollops of edible paint on a piece of paper underneath a piece of bubble wrap. Tape the edges of the bubble wrap down, and allow your child to finger paint to their heart’s content.
Edible Baby Paint
Edible baby paint is smooth in texture, perfect for finger painting, and a fantastic sensory tool. The beauty of this paint is it’s totally safe for babies and toddlers if they decide to put it in their mouths, and it’s made easily at home from household items. All you need to create edible baby paint is cornflour, water and food colouring. If you prefer natural food colouring to make these paints, this is possible too! Things like turmeric and beetroot also make great natural colouring agents. To create your edible paint, you will need 4 tablespoons of cornflour, cold water, 1 cup of boiling water and liquid food colouring. This can be made ahead of time and kept in the fridge. If you get the paint out of the fridge and it’s hard, add some boiling water, leave it a minute, then stir and it will be back to the right consistency. Here is the method for this beautiful baby paint.METHOD:
- Mix cornflour with enough cold water in a medium saucepan to make a paste. (Make sure it is not too runny).
- Add 1 cup of boiling water and stir thoroughly with a whisk, ensuring no lumps.
- Turn your cooktop onto medium heat and mix. The mixture will start to change, and you will see clear streaks forming. Once you see clear lines, turn off the heat and continue stirring. The mixture will begin to thicken and take on a custard consistency.
- Spoon equal amounts into containers and add a different food colouring to each container. Mix each colour until thoroughly combined. For each colour, add 3 drops of yellow, green, red and blue. To make orange, add 1 drop of red and 2 yellow and to make purple, add 1 drop of blue and 2 red.
- These paints can be stored in the fridge, covered in cling wrap for up to 2 weeks.
Mess Free Painting
Yes, that’s right! Art with your baby doesn’t always have to be messy. If you have paints, a shoebox, paper and a zip-lock bag, that’s all you need to begin your baby's artistic journey. Using the shoe box, remove the lid and place it back into the shoebox upside down like an easel. Tape it to the top for stability. Using a large snap-lock bag, put a sheet of paper and blob various colours onto the paper. Ensure there is enough paint on the paper for your baby to move around. Seal the zip-lock bag and tape the bag into the lid of the shoe box. With your baby sitting on the floor in a highchair, they can begin swirling and pushing the paint around the paper. No mess and no fuss. Your baby will just love creating their first masterpiece.
First Footprint Art
There is nothing more joyous than a baby's first steps. When a baby figures out this gross motor skill, it's a milestone to remember. What better way to capture this than with original artwork to hang on the wall? You will need paints (we recommend using washable paint always), paper, and a sponge with water to wash feet and possibly hands once complete. Completing this activity outside ensures your floors will stay clean and everyone has fun in the process. Simply paint or dip your child's feet in paint and let them walk over the paper. If your baby isn't walking yet, this can be transformed into a hand and foot still painting. Paint, press, and remove your child's feet and hands onto the paper. Voila, you have a timeless piece of art to enjoy for years.
Exploring art with babies is an important developmental step, encouraging sensory exploration with smells, textures and colours. Creating some beautiful art with your baby enhances developmental skills in a fun and imaginative way while providing the opportunity for creativity. Try one of these super simple art activities today and enjoy some arty fun with your little one!