The baby has been showing so much interest in painting and whenever the older children are involved in an activity, she always wants to join in. Of course, I always let her, but I wanted to create an activity that was just for her so that I could really help her make the most of what could be an incredible sensory experience. So we decided to do some Foam Painting!
This turned out to be a wonderful experience for us both because I was able to witness the baby as she was completely and utterly indulged in her activity. And the fact that we used foam meant that the mess was kept to a fair minimum- no spills and lots of sensory play!
To make the foam paint we:
- used plastic cups left over from a party, so that the baby could hold them herself and they could easily be thrown away afterwards.
- squirted the cups two thirds full with shaving foam and added a squirt of paint.
- we stirred the mixture- the baby helped with this and we talked about the paint being frothy, blue, red, pink, white, thick, gloopy.
- we used paint brushes and so talked about holding the brush with our fingers and using them to stir and to paint.
- enjoyed dipping the brushes into the paint and transferring it onto the paper.
- liked to hold the cups herself and get her fingers inside to explore the foamy texture.
- use her feet! She painted them and wiggled her toes as the foamy paint crept between them.
- use her fingers! She realised she could transfer paint onto the paper this way and she spent some time swirling her fingers round on the paper.
What made this activity so perfect for the baby was the fact that she could get right into her painting, carrying her little pots and brushes around with her. We experimented with:
- handprints- talking about how my hands were big and hers were small, and the different colours of our hand prints.
- footprints- how we could make tracks along the paper with our feet.
- splodges- how the paint brush made different patterns and shapes.
I recommend doing this activity on a wipeable floor if possible and be on hand with wipes or moist cloths to clean hands, feet and legs afterwards. I did direct the baby at certain points, but mostly I left her to explore the paint by herself, so it was lovely to see her concentration and fascination. A great one for babies and toddlers!
Susanne Remic is a mother of three and a primary school teacher, blogging at Ghost Writer Mummy and ivillage UK. She is also jumping from a plane in July to raise money for The Lullaby Trust (formerly FSID charity) and would appreciated sponsors here.
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