I've been chomping at the bit waiting for Bugga to be old enough to do arts and crafts. Yes, I know, even babies can start pretty much from the womb with the art projects. We even tackled finger (body!) painting last year when Bugga was 10 months old; I'm sure many moms jump on it far earlier than that.
Another point to note: I am not a huge fan of messiness on purpose. Let's be honest, kids are a lot of work and mess without TRYING to make a mess. So painting with a toddler kind of scared me.
With Bella still so small at 7 weeks, she still hasn't had her vaccinations yet so we aren't leaving the house for much more than Bugga's once-a-week gymnastics class. And a bored kid is hard on everyone (all you parents on the East Coast know exactly what I'm talking about right now since you've all been stuck inside for days due to the snow with school cancelled). So I bit the bullet and pulled out the paint.
Grandma had gifted Bugga some fingerpaints and a smock for Christmas, so this was as good a time as any to try them out. Plus with Valentine's Day fast approaching Bugga could make a homemade gift for Daddy on behalf of her and her sister. I even managed to stretch this into a TWO DAY PROJECT which is always good.
So I dressed Bugga in clothes I don't like (we all get those gifts) and her new smock, and taped down some newspaper to our kitchen counter. She climbed up into her learning tower (best invention ever) and we proceeded to go to work.
I squirted some of the paint into paper cups left over from her 1st birthday (we are slowly and finally getting through those) in Valentine colors. Since the Crayola Fingerpaints only come in red, blue, yellow, and green I had to incorporate some white from my collection to make pink. Oh, and trying to make purple with the red and the blue was a bust so nevermind that.
I used several sponge brushes (yep, still not in the mood to handle more painting with our hands) I had left over from another project of mine, and we went to work.
I purchased a simple wood heart frame from Michael's for barely $1.00 and Bugga had a blast painting it with the various colors.
She also seemed to love the different effects she could make with the brushes, taking advantage of the sponginess (huh, that's actually a word).
Once she was done we let it dry overnight. in the meantime, the other colors had grabbed her attention so I found some paper and let her create another masterpiece.
She had a blast and it wasn't too difficult to clean up.
Oh, and meanwhile, the baby hung out in the bouncer next to us and watched.
The next day I pulled out a bag of foam heart stickers and the frame so we could decorate. Bugga quickly figured out how to use her fingernails to peel of the backings, and we were in business. I had a giant flat foam heart she could also decorate as well.
Seriously, she decorated this all by herself with no guidance from me whatsoever. Such style.
And here is the final result, all ready for Daddy!