Fingerpainting! Charlotte’s first attempt at making some marvelous artwork! A future Michaelangelo? Hmmm…maybe not

I’ve been waiting rather impatiently for Charlotte to show some interest in creative expression. So far she is more interested in chewing on a pencil than drawing with it, and would rather knock blocks down than arrange them into a unique sculpture. Ok, so she’s only one. I know. I should probably hold off on the artistic endeavors until she’s out of the “I must taste everything first” stage. However, before my last MOPS meeting we were told to bring some samples of our child’s artwork for a craft project. I decided this was the perfect chance to try that time-tested first art medium…fingerpainting! I thought I’d share the experience with you. 🙂
I had planned on trying the experiment outside to minimize the mess, but we were having our lovely return to winter last week and I decided Baby Girl would probably be more comfortable inside rather than out with snowflakes falling on her nose. I took the fabric covered off her high chair, just in case, and covered it with a dishtowel. I then taped several pieces of card stock directly onto the highchair tray using painter’s tape. I thought the card stock would probably hold up better than regular printer paper.

I then stripped Little Britches down to her diaper and stuck her in the chair. I had thought about making my own finger paint using pudding and food coloring, but ended up just getting the non-toxic, washable variety. I figured she could taste it without harming herself, and after one lick she wouldn’t be tempted to eat any more. I hoped.

I squirted the paint directly onto the paper, and waited for her to go at it. She was confused. She tried to pick the paint up, which didn’t really work, then of course tried licking it off her fingers, which I discouraged. I finally took her hand and moved it around the paper, and she seemed to catch on. She had fun for about two minutes, then she was like, “Ok, that was great, now where’s my snack and why is this messy stuff all over my hands if I can’t eat it?” I persevered though, and had her create two more masterpieces before cleaning her up.

While I was wetting some paper towels at the sink apparently her eye started itching, so naturally she rubbed it. She started crying, so I guess she must have gotten some in her eye, and when I turned around to look at her she looked like a small Indian who had been through a war. She was a trooper though, only fussing a little bit while I cleaned off her hands and eye (of course I had to snap a picture or two first) and the tray. True to it’s packaging the paint was indeed very washable and came easily off every surface with just a wet towel.

Instead of carrying my paint-splattered off-spring through the house to the bathroom, I took my friend Mysti’s advice and just bathed her in the kitchen sink. It worked great! She’s the perfect size to fit right into the larger side of the sink, and was quite taken with the novelty of so many bubbles and the spray nozzle.

Curious to know what we did at MOPS with our children’s artwork? We made magnets. Super simple, but such a sweet way to preserve a bit of all those wonderful scribbles without having to invest in a giant portfolio (or storage unit).
Here’s a brief tutorial:

  • children’s artwork
  • flat clear marbles (found in the floral department of your local craft store)
  • Mod podge
  • scissors
  • high temp hot glue gun
  • round magnets 

1. cover the flat bottom of the marble with mod podge, then stick it on the art work. Find a spot where the colors are bright and pretty, or if you can find a little fingerprint that is precious too.
 2. Give the mod podge a few minutes to dry, then cut the artwork out around the marble, getting as close as you can. Use more mod podge to seal the edges if needed.
3. Using a high temp hot glue gun or some strong craft glue, stick the magnet onto the bottom of the marble.
4. Stick the magnets on your fridge and admire the tiny masterpieces!
I fully plan on doing this project again, as Baby Girl starts developing her love of scribbling artwork. 🙂

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