As anyone can tell you arts and crafts are a pivotal part of my personality, I thoroughly enjoy activities and live for projects. My eagerness aside, I could not wait to get to do all sorts of fun art projects with Ezra… until I realized he is in fact a baby, and no matter how many times I say “on the paper bud” he probably was not containing anything to where it was supposed to go. We’ve introduced Ezra to painting a few times, and I think now I’ve truly gotten it down to a science, but it was very much trial by fire the first six times we attempted to do art. Below I will regal you with the keys to painting with babies.
1. Don’t Think Foot and Hand Prints are Easy.
My sister and I learned this one the hard way last Father’s Day, when we attempted to do some cute hand and footprint crafts of our (then) six week old babies to give to the leading men in their lives. We thought because they were small and sleepy, it would be easy to get the perfect footprint… we thought wrong. Everyone and everything was absolutely covered in paint, and we were only able to truly salvage one of Ezra’s canvas attempts which can be seen below. When in doubt, always be flexible and remember it’s supposed to be fun.
2. Painters Tape is Your Friend.
You can make patterns on paper and have them paint over it, and that right there is how we do every painting activity ever. We’ve done letters, we’ve done shapes, and we did Easter eggs, if you can figure it out with painters tape, they can paint it and it’ll look sweet. Painters tape is also great for securing the canvas or paper to a solid surface during the crafting process.
3. Sheet Protectors Are Mess Free.
At first when we started painting when Ezra was older, I would take a lid from a Rubbermaid container, tape down a piece of paper, plop some paint drops on it, and then tape plastic wrap over it. Well Wreck It Ralph decided he was too tough for plastic wrap one day and chaos ensued. Since that day we learned that sheet protectors are, sturdy, washable, and great for keeping all our artwork in one place. I simply tape over a sheet protector (or two) and he’s easily able to manipulate the paint under it without the fear of ripping through and painting the carpet.
4. Anything is An Easel if You Try Hard Enough.
Highchair trays, plastic plates, Rubbermaid container lids, anything can be an easel for your tiny one to paint on if you try hard enough. Once I mastered the sheet protector painters tape combo, we’ve really gone crazy with the painting. Just last Sunday Ezra was pushing his Rubbermaid Lid paint studio around the kitchen floor, crawling on it, feeling the mushiness of the paint without being covered. My point from this bullet is that not everything has to be perfect, improvise, use what you have, and enjoy the creative process of watching it all happen no matter where craft time takes you.