Summer is in full swing, and you may be looking for things to do with your littlest little. Sure they can play on the playground, go in a floaty for a swim, or maybe even use crayons to color, but you are searching for a major art activity that your baby could do even at her age.
Well, it so happened that Father’s Day was coming up and ding, ding, I got an idea. My 14 month old daughter was going to make the wrapping paper for her Daddy’s gift! Genius right?! My husband is a pretty sentimental guy so I thought it would be the perfect touch to the heartfelt gift he to receive.
Items you may want for this activity:
Large butcher paper
Crayola Artista II Washable Liquid Tempera Paint
rags (one completely damp for cleanup)
(optional) paintbrush and water cup
I began with taping the butcher paper to the tiled floor. Do NOT do this over carpet, you will regret that decision in a big way. If you do not have a tile surface in your home, you may want to do this activity in a cement garage or driveway.
Okay, here is where the fun begins. I first started by painting my daughter’s foot with the yellow Crayola Artista II Washable Liquid Tempera Paint I received as a sample during an art teacher convention, but soon found that it was overrated, much like her wearing a shirt, and simply stuck her foot into the paint on the paper plate.
I allowed her to run across the paper and stomp her feet that made adorable little footprints. Soon we got her hands involved. I pressed her hand from the plate to the paper. When she saw the effect that placing her hand on the paper had she was all in on this art project. I no longer had to help her. She experimented with painting with her hands, mixing the colors and how different hand and feet strokes made different sounds and effects. She was getting really into it as you can see from the pictures.
Luckily more paint was on the paper than on her, but she wore her fair share. We only had two rouge, runaway baby incidents. Here is where that damp rag comes in. A fully wet, and wrung out, rag can make quick work of little footsteps that veer off the paper.
Here comes the art teacher in me. I highly recommend using yellow first. It is the lightest/weakest color. Then follow with using red. If the yellow is still wet, that is perfectly okay since yellow and red mix to make orange. (Wait you mean my child is going to learn color mixing during this project?! Yea!) And last you may use the blue. It is the strongest of the three colors and can easily dominate, so it is difficult to go in the reverse order. The great thing is if your red hasn’t dried yet that’s perfectly fine since red and blue mix to make purple.
Sure you can experiment with different colors though I recommend that you let them dry inbetween, unless you feel comfortable with your understanding of color mixing. It’s okay to keep a little parental control while making the handmade wrapping paper art activity since we want our child to have a successful art project with a positive relationship with art and color. I used to warn my littlest artists that we don’t randomly mix a bunch of colors together because they mix to make a “pooh-pooh color”, and we definitely don’t want our art to look like pooh-pooh. We can always leave random color experimentation for another day…not for wrapping paper you will use on a gift.
After we had used all of our paint up, my daughter face-palmed herself leaving a crimson red hand print over her eye and in her hair. She was already covered head-to-toe in paint anyway, but that was the clincher, so off to the bath tub we went. The bath water turned purple. I think she enjoyed that as well.
Finally, you may be freaking out about my cloth diaper. Crayola Artista II Washable Liquid Tempera Paint is washable! Her diaper cleaned up perfectly fine. There was a tiny spot of blue shadowing that soaked into the lining, but not noticeable unless you knew it was there and examined it up close. These washable tempera paints do clean up well. My only caution, through my experience as an art teacher, is to be wary of blue, black, or magenta on white. They may leave a slight shadowing that you would not wish to have on your favorite blouse. I have my own pile of “art clothes” and I recommend you do as well so you may feel uninhibited when you play with your child.
Try this activity out with your child. They don’t have to be your littlest child. It can be fun with any grade school aged child, you will simply have a varied result with their age and skill level.
Here are some more pictures from our handmade wrapping paper art activity! Enjoy and let me know how your own ART-venture turns out!