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Our Artistic Endeavours: Encouraging Your Kid to Get Creative!

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I’d love to be one of those people that designs jewellery as a hobby or takes fabulous photos  in my spare time but I’ve had to face the sad fact that my talents do not lie in an artistic direction so one of the things I’ve been really looking forward to as a mother is that age where The Boy and I can do art projects together.

Our steps down this path have been uncertain. We tried painting from a very early age and although I’m deeply proud of the results I can’t say he showed any enjoyment or indeed interest in the process until very recently.

Our first effort was at 9 months and was the Special Secret Father’s Day Painting!

1 baby
3 plastic Ikea plates
3 colours of child friendly poster paints (suitable for 3 to 5 years, oops?)
1 really big sheet of paper.

1. Pour the paint in the plates.
2. Put the baby in the paint.
3. Place the baby on the paper.
4.Watch and take photos
5. Reapply paint
6. Stop him crawling over to your cream sofa.

We learned two things between us (one each)

1. The Boy learned that not all things we let him dip his hands in are for eating (via a green tongue and much outraged screaming!)

2. Mama learned that blue poster paint is apparently indelible. The shirt I wore that has been washed multiple times since still has blue marks on it. The marks on the baby took two baths to remove.

It was fun but more fun for me and my camera than for The Boy so I waited until he was one before we tried again. The project at one was thank you cards for his birthday presents.  This time I confined him to his high chair, gave him a serious lecture about the non-edibility of paint and gave him numerous folded pieces of coloured card to play with. He lost interest well before all the cards we needed got done and wasn’t sorry to wash his hands and stop.

Roll on to Christmas and the ill-fated Christmas cards.

I had an idea (ok, not my idea, it was from someone else’s website) that you could turn handprints into passable Christmas trees so all he would need to do was put 30 painty handprints on 30 pieces of card – simple. The failure in this process was definitely mine and my facebook status for that day says it all.

“For anyone planning a Christmas art project with their toddler, red, green and yellow paint make brown. Some people are gonna get brown Christmas cards is all I’m saying”

I think now, at 18 months, we’re just about getting there.

Yesterday I stuck paper all over our kitchen table, I put a bib on him, I poured paint on the plates and gave him lots of toys; cars to roll in the paint and then across the paper, leaves to do leaf prints and animal shape printers and textured rollers.

They do say that a picture paints a thousand words so here they are…


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