Monday, January 24, 2011

baby art?

Little guy's first solo drawing!

My husband and I are both artists. That's how we met, in an undergrad painting class. Even though our son is only 14 months old, we do our best to encourage creative expression. But it can be hard to know how to foster creative thinking since he is so young.

For toddlers it seems creativity translates into experimentation. As he uses his pee-wee trial and error skills, creativity manifests itself as he invents new ways of manipulating objects or materials. Rather than squashing this budding creativity ("no, that's not how that works, silly!") we try to give him the freedom to experiment in his own ways (underline TRY!).

This is a collaboration between mommy, daddy and E.

Washable markers give E instant results. We offer huge paper so that we won't have to say "no, not on the wall! no not on the table!" Obviously he wouldn't enjoy making marks if we were yelling at him every few minutes. Once he learns how to steady a marker, we'll play some more with crayons. (Pressing hard enough to see colors is a challenge right now...)

I have an afternoon of painting in mind today which will involve making drawings with washable markers, putting markers away, and then offering a damp cloth and paint brush for E to smear around on the drawings. This will make the colors blend and bleed since the markers are washable. (This is probably way over his head, but I'll just have to see where it takes us...)

We also have all kinds of recyclables that he can combine to make interesting sounds. I wouldn't say they are exactly "musical" sounds, but as hubby and I shake them and pretend to dance or sing, E gets it.
I know I used to paint for my own edification, but these days, it's all about E. The little paintings here are going to be a series of four animals. For number 1, I printed his hand since he is 1 year old. I figure after the age of 4, I'll come up with another idea. I'll be sure to post them when I finish painting them.


  1. Very cool ideas! I know that it's time to get my 17 month olds some crayons and markers and let them draw. They like the aquadoodle too! :)

  2. I love this. My 12 month old son is in daycare one day a week and the thing that sold me on his daycare was that they do art projects even with the little babies. I can't wait for mine to be old enough to use a crayon without trying to eat it. We break out the crayons every few weeks to see when we'll reach that point. Soon, I'm sure.


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Yes, peas are delicious - and funny!

Yes, peas are delicious - and funny!
Our little guy at 15 months, February 2011.