Depending on your little one’s mood, indoor painting may be mess waiting to happen, but sometimes, messes are worth it, and there are many developmental advantages to breaking out the smock and dropcloth once in a while.
Painting is a great way for toddlers to express themselves creatively, and to use their paints to show their parents a little bit of what’s going on inside their heads. Even very young children can dip their fingers into some paint and put it on paper, so feel free to start the finger painting lessons early – even if they begin in the highchair.
As Baby explores the paint, they will learn a lot about color. They may not be ready to start picking up the vocabulary to identify the colors yet, but by mixing paints together, they will learn that they can make a new color entirely. Watch and be amazed!
Once they are ready to move from fingers to brushes, you can choose a variety of brushes ranging from wide to narrow, and let them see how the size influences the shape on the paper. If they seem like they might do better with a middle step between brushes and fingers, sponges can be a great instrument for some early art projects.
For children with potential sensory issues or concerns, painting is a great activity to teach them that it’s OK to get a little messy. Letting them see you getting a little paint on your hands and then wipe it off again may make them more comfortable with giving it a try.