It’s never too early to start painting with kids. My first painting activity with my twins was when they were 8 months old. I wanted them to make palm prints on a tshirt. The first part of this activity was guided while i got them to make the palm prints, but then after that i just let the boys explore the paints. They loved the texture and soon moved from sticking the tips of their fingers into the paint to pretty much painting themselves and the floor. I had spread a plastic sheet on the floor but they crawled off it in a bit smearing paint in tell tale streaks on the floor. They had a blast. I decided to sit back and let them finish with the mess. There was no point worrying about the paint – i knew it would wash off later.
Once i realized how much the boys enjoyed “painting” i experimented with different textured paint. I usually would make them paint at home because one of the twins loves putting everything into his mouth and i did not want him licking regular paint. Here’s a recipe i found that works well:
Mix equal quantities of flour, salt and water. Pour into plastic cups and add food coloring. You can pour this mixture onto a plate/tray or plastic table top for kids to mess around with. I use newspapers spread on the floor for them to make designs on with their fingers, hands, feet (or the whole body!). If you like you could put the paint into squirt bottles for them to squeeze out onto a paper. Adding salt gives a nice texture to the paint.
You can also make some delicious smelling (and tasting) paint with jello. You can buy different colored jello packets and all you need to do is add boiling water to the jello to make a paste that you can spread with your fingers. Allow it to cool and use it like you would use finger paint! It looks glossy and pretty when it dries and smells lovely too!
My boys love painting with their fingers, but it is also fun to use cut up pieces of kitchen sponge, rollers, vegetables like okra or cut potatoes for printing. Then of course, you also have brushes and stamps 🙂
And then finally, when we are all done, it is time for a much needed bath and some fun time in the tub!