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Finger painting with babies might start out with fingers... but it can quickly turn into full body painting! Yes, this may seem very messy (and it is!) but the end result is a masterpiece that you can hang on your wall and your guests will think it's a modern art piece you bought at the gallery. Well, maybe not quite.. but you'll have some great wall art for your kid's room.
When my daughter was 8 months old I started painting with her. I placed an old sheet on the floor to contain the mess, then I laid down one of my large canvases. I squirted some finger paint on the canvas, one color at a time, and she eagerly went to work. She started spreading the paint around the canvas with her fingers, then proceeded to crawl all over the painting and use her whole body as a paintbrush. The result was impressive!
1: Make sure your child is at least 6 months old and is able to sit up on their own. If your child does not crawl yet you can rotate the canvas for them or place the child on different parts of the canvas. If your baby is crawling, let them crawl all over the painting. It might seem like the canvas is bending or caving in, but it should snap back into place later.
2: My daughter started out in a t-shirt onesie but I quickly learned that it was much easier if she paints without any clothes, just a diaper. This makes it easier to quickly place her in a bath right after the activity. Also, the diaper actually creates some interesting designs when it is dragged across a painting!
3: Start by squirting one color on one part of the canvas. Let the child finish spreading that paint around. Then squirt another color somewhere nearby and let the child work on that. Keep doing this until the painting is complete.
4: Let the child complete the painting at their own pace - some babies might be done in 5 minutes and decide to crawl away in search for the next adventure, while other babies might sit and paint for quite a while.
5: You may know from experience that complementary colors (colors that are opposite each other on the color wheel. example: red & green, blue & orange, yellow & purple) will turn a lovely shade of brown when combined. In order to keep the painting bright and colorful and minimize brown areas try to avoid using complementary colors next to each other.
6: Yes, babies put everything in their mouth. These Crayola finger paints are non-toxic, but if you prefer you can make your own homemade finger paints with this simple recipe.