Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Artist at Play

This afternoon, Jonah and I explored cause and effect, textures, and colors. At the same time, we encouraged motor skills such as reaching with intent! Our activity today was fingerpainting, and although it was messy, it was fun!
First we got dressed into our art clothes. For Jonah, this was just a disposable diaper and a pair of leggings, and Mommy wore an old t-shirt and jeans. This activity can get extremely messy depending on your child's attitude towards it, so be prepared with some moist rags. Also, make sure the paint you choose is non-toxic, as most children try to taste it as they are exploring.I chose three colors. As Jonah gets older, this activity will include allowing him to choose his own colors. Jonah sat in his high chair with a piece of paper on his tray. If you want to prevent your child from crumpling and ripping the paper, you can stick it to the tray with masking tape on the back of the paper. I believe, however, that picking the paper up and handling it is as important as exploring the paints during the first few times with this activity.

One by one, I placed globs of color onto the paper and encouraged Jonah to smoosh it, smear it, and squish it between his fingers. He did try to taste it once or twice, but that is a normal step in exploring at his age. At first he was perplexed by the cold, squishy texture, but soon he really got into smearing it around on his tray. Unfortunately the paper was only half the size of the tray, but I don't mind if he smears the paint outside of the edges of the paper. I left a space of time, about ten minutes, between adding a new color to the paper. Each time that I added a new color, Jonah suddenly became very interested in painting again.

Art activities such as fingerpainting encourage infants to explore cause and effect. They learn that reaching out and smearing the paint causes the color to move around on the paper. This will later translate to means-ends problem solving, when the older infant will observe a problem (I want that toy but can't reach it) and proctor a solution (I can pull this blanket to make the toy come close to me.) It also gives the infant a fun sensory experience, as he feels the texture of the paint, and sees the differences in the colors.

1 comment:

  1. Such a great idea! I need to get Lily some paints! Jonah is too cute!