I’ve always loved art. Making it, learning about it, teaching it—the whole kit and caboodle! When I first found out I was pregnant, I would daydream of making art with my little guy. You know what I didn’t daydream of? The mess. But that’s okay, because making art is about getting messy, and so is parenting. So rather than setting limitations, with materials and techniques, start at the beginning and grow together. You and your Little Picasso are sure to find out what works, and what you can save for another time.
Exploring and creating are important parts of growing up. We as adults know how amazing it feels to try something new, and for our little ones almost everything is new. Exploring art techniques and mediums is also a great opportunity to change things up at home, and if we’re lucky spark a new interest for parents. Collaborations are also so fun, you get lost in creating something new and your Little Picasso gives you that nudge. How can you collaborate with a toddler? Well, they have the power to not overthink. So, as much as they are Little Picassos they are also little Jackson Pollocks—subconsciously and consciously creating masterpieces. They don’t overthink their brush strokes or colour choices—they just do it. So, we can use their unobstructed freedom and create a collaboration—from flowers to trees, and other imaginative works of art. Letting go of control is hard. That’s something that I think was the hardest part for me, becoming a parent means giving up some of your control. At first I fought it, and dug in my heels—there was no way I was going to give in. It wasn’t until I did let go, did I really start to enjoy the ride. On a good day, my house is pretty far from picture perfect, it is in a constant state of mayhem. But it’s lived in and well loved. Ben is by far the greatest masterpiece I’ve ever created, and despite his passion for trashin’—I really wouldn’t have it any other way.
I will be sharing tips and tricks on introducing different art mediums and techniques for little ones 6 months and up. The materials used for these art projects will generally be found around your home or at the dollar store. Sometimes we will think outside the artistic bubble, and create games or activities for those indoor days. I hope to include inspiration and a little background on new materials, or extensions if you have a more advanced Picasso.
So let’s start our journey at the beginning. Time to go au naturel! Mess Free Painting with… water! Super simple, but still super fun!
Project: Mess Free Painting!
Is this real life? Yes. Although—you won’t be hanging this art up on your fridge, because for the most part it disappears. This project is all about exploring, cause and effect… and dipping. Lots of dipping. I would be shocked to meet a child who didn’t like to dip!
For your first adventure with your Little Picasso you will need:
1 small cup of water
1 paintbrush—whatever you have, thicker brush is better for little hands
1 pad of coloured construction paper, or brown cardboard
Sit your little one in their highchair, on the floor, in the tub, wherever—as long as they have a flat surface in front of them it will work.
Place a colourful piece of construction paper in front of them, show them the shallow cup of water (shallow is key) and the paintbrush.
Dip the brush in the water and show them what happens when you brush water on their paper.
Give them a turn!
This is a great way to introduce art materials that we will be using later on. My toddler Ben loves this activity. I introduced it to him around 6 months, and it has become an afternoon favourite (when bedtime seems oh so far away). On warm days we take to the driveway, and paint on the ground.
To celebrate our first Little Picassos post, below is a free frame printable!