Getting Crafty with your Baby

Young children love to get creative but when it comes to getting arty, your baby can join in the fun too. Getting your baby involved in fun crafts is enjoyable for you and for them, but it also can help them develop important skills. Crafty activities can teach your baby about colours, shapes and introduce them to a range of different textures. It is great for their hand-eye coordination as well. As soon as your baby is able to grip an object in their hand and is showing an interest in what you are doing, for example looking at pictures in books etc. then you can get them involved in some craft activities.

Get your baby involved in older children’s crafts by allowing them to watch and hold various materials, brushes, paper etc. Just introducing these new shapes and textures will be exciting for young babies and watching their siblings will get them used to craft sessions.

Safe, Mess-Free Craft Ideas

One of the best ways you can get artistic with your baby is to make use of something we all have in our kitchens ? sandwich bags. Get hold of some zip-lock bags (any small clear bag you can seal effectively will work fine). Now you just need to add some fun things to the bag and you?re ready to have some fun with your baby, mess-free, safe fun.

? Play dough ? add some play dough to a sealed bag and let your baby squash and mould the dough with their hands and feet. It can be fun to have a bag with a large ball of dough, then one with a small ball and one with a number of separate pieces. This allows your little one to see how their actions affect the dough, watch it change shape and size. You can use different coloured dough that you can buy or make your own salt dough (half a cup of salt and a cup of flour, gradually add half a cup of lukewarm water; knead until it is the right consistency).

? Painting ? put a few ‘splodges? of paint on piece of paper or card and add to the bag, squeeze out most of the air and seal tightly (you might want to put some tape over the opening of the bag for this one, especially if your little one gets excited!). Let your baby press on the paint and watch it spread over the paper. If you use two different colours your baby can mix them and watch the colours change. Try to use colours that contrast such as black and white or yellow and red so that the effect is maximised.

Water Painting

If you are worried your baby will see a paintbrush dipped in paint as a lollipop (and let’s face it, the first thing most babies do to explore something new is to pop it in their mouths) then let them paint with water. Babies, unlike toddlers, are only interested in the process of having fun with the materials than in the finished product. So painting with water can satisfy them completely. It is also much easier to clean up spillages from clothes, tables, floors, walls? Choose coloured paper that shows the water up well and place a drying cloth or towel underneath to soak up any extra water. You can get ?magic? colouring books which show colours when painted with water; these can be a great mess-free way to let your baby unleash a creative side.

When it comes to crafts, the best thing you can do is show your baby enthusiasm, so make a fuss of their work and if you can salvage anything from craft session then display it proudly!

Author: Arlene Copeland

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