It's always fun using art supplies with babies, I love engaging with Otto in this way. We've been using playdough and finger paint with Otto from around 8-9 months. Now at 13-months he is using a small but ever increasing range of art supplies. I've been reading a lot of art books lately and I've been feeling really inspired to try new things with him. Before we go any further I want to document the supplies we are using and are finding successful at this age!
12 months and under:
Safe Finger Paint - prefer ours homemade as we go through so much of it (our recipe here).
Little bowls perfect for holding paint - works better than little jars, it's easier for the young child to use.
Acrylic Mirror - this is a lovely surface for finger painting, especially outside, we use an A3 size.
Playdough - again we prefer homemade!
Jumbo Paddle Pop/Craft Sticks - we use these with playdough.
Easy to Use Smock - or a dedicated art apron.
Water Colour Paper/Card - we find thicker paper like this is needed as the young child can use a lot of paint and plain/printing paper is too thin and will tear (the one we use is 140gsm).
Large White Tray - this has so many uses, we can paint in it, or use playdough in it, it contains some mess.
- Chubby paint brushes. - if you can't find one locally small shaving brushes will work, these are much easier for the very small hands of the child.
- Sponges - we use a variety, a small kitchen sponge is fun for printing with paint but also natural sponges or make-up sponges, just make sure they are small enough for the child to hold.
- Texture wands - definitely take these outside as the young child may wave them around a little, we dip them in paint and allow the child to use like a brush or just splatter the paint and make different textures on the paper.
- Dot markers
- Dot stickers - we have a variety of colour and sizes, I just tear off around six of each colour/size we are using (don't give the child the whole roll) and they are very easy for the child to peel off. We stick them onto plain paper.
The timing on when to use these art materials completely depends on the child. Until a month or so ago Otto would put everything in his mouth, he was fine with finger paint but couldn't use a brush or dot marker without tasting it. But now at 13 months he has more control and can use these reliably. If your child is putting everything in their mouth I would hold back on using a paintbrush, texture wands and dot markers.
All of our painting is still done outside, we have a height adjustable (child size) table we put outside on the grass, Otto can still move unpredictably, working outside gives him a lot of freedom.
I'd love to hear your favourite or most used art supplies for babies!