After a long winter on the North American East Coast with two newborns, I started to go stir crazy. The second that it became Spring, I started to do more activities with the girls. When they were about five months old (four months adjusted), we did some footprint art. There are a lot of different ideas on Pinterest but I took a liking to the butterflies, especially in celebration of Spring. In order for the pieces to last, I used canvas boards to place the painted footprints. I placed two colors of paint next to each other on a paper plate, put the girls in their high chairs, placed their feet in the paint, and pressed their feet gently onto the canvas boards. I repeated this four more times so that when Christmas comes around, we have some cute art to give to their grandparents. I also wanted them to each have a piece of art for when they are older, and something to keep for myself and their dad. After the paint dried, it was very easy to use archival black ink to draw in a body with their name written out and a head with antennae. I am the first to admit that this project was more for me and for them in the future than as any sort of sensory experience for them in the present.
There is no need to reinvent the wheel when it has already be done on Pinterest, especially when those wheels have been covered in colored felt and bedazzled. The nice things about these Pinterest ideas is that the babies are doing them, and there is no pressure for them to be anything but baby art.
Several months later, once they were more mobile and engaged with their surroundings, we did our next art project. I used the same washable paints and canvas boards as before, with the addition of a gallon-sized Ziploc bag per child. (It is very important that the bag used seals tightly and won’t come apart.) While the girls were playing on the floor, I placed the eight different colored containers of paint in front of them. As they went after each color, I made a mental note of which colors they were drawn to (which also could have been chosen purely on proximity) and poured out one dab of each of those colors on the canvas board.
Once the paints were on the canvas board, I carefully placed each board inside a gallon ziploc bag and made sure it was sealed tightly. I put the girls in their high chairs and handed them their bags.
I am confident in saying that for at least a few minutes—they absolutely loved banging their bag o’ art against their high chair tray, and they will have something cute to look at when they are older.
Once they were finished chewing on the plastic bag and shaking it around, they let me know they were finished with their art by holding them over the side of their high chair and dropping them on the floor.
And…voila! Art only a mother can love…
I considered using their hand print as a “signature” but then paint will actually be on their hands and not safely contained within the plastic bag, and I reconsidered. Might be a good suggestion for braver souls?