When I worked in childcare, I thought it was mad that we were expected to do “arts and crafts” on a weekly basis with the babies from such a young age. Trying to get a 5 month old to offer up their hand or foot to be painted seemed crazy, and as for sticking bits of scrunched up tissue paper on to card, well that was just beyond mad!
So maybe I’m crazy too, because I had the wackiest idea the other day. I thought, “hmmmm, Little Man is a bit grumpy today, let’s try doing some painting for daddy.”
Now, Little Man has only just turned 6 months old, and although usually a very good natured child, he was having a particularly bad day because of teething. So why I thought painting would soothe him I don’t know. But it did have the unexpected effect of bemusing him so much he forget to grizzle!
I stripped him down to just his nappy, sat him in front of me on a splashproof playmat, and placed some paper in front of him.
I decided to use the face paints we bought when I was pregnant (for bump painting) because I thought that was going to be the most friendly type of paint for his delicate skin.
I tried painting his hands first, but he wasn’t giving them up. He was far more interested in trying to screw up and eat the paper! So we painted his feet instead…
Oh, painting those gorgeous (big) feet of his, and seeing the paint squidge between his toes made me smile. He is ticklish on the soles of his feet, so he wriggled and jiggled about, and wasn’t hugely impressed when I stood him up to make him stand up on the paper and make his footprint. But I’m sure he’ll get the hang of it and learn to love messy times like this soon enough.
I cannot wait until the summer months when it is warm enough to take him outside, lay him on the splashproof mat in just his nappy, and let him go wild with all sorts of things. I plan on letting him explore the taste and texture of things like baked beans, rice pudding, jelly and custard once the weather is warm enough. I love messy play, just not on my carpet!!
But for now, we’ll just enjoy the few moments we get to explore the paper indoors. After all, Little Man seemed to like that the best…