Baby Finger Painting

So this week I put on my mom pants! No, not my track pants (I was obviously already wearing those) or my long bum jeans - but my figurative mom pants and planned an activity for Eila and I to do.  I have a board full of ideas, tried and tested, on Pinterest that I have wanted to tackle.  With Valentine's day approaching (umm...that's tomorrow) and the fact that this winter hasn't given us much opportunity to explore the outdoors, I decided that we were going to attempt to get crafty and make a gift for Steve.  Also to take the opportunity to get in some sensory play besides our usual jam.  And of course I was excited to have an opportunity to break out the real camera and have a photo-sesh. And to just enjoy the experience.  Well an experience it was!

Let me tell you about that time I decided I should be a Pinterest Mom.

That's right - Eila and I painted.  Well Eila painted.  I found a tutorial on Pinterest, prepared the activity, explained what everything was and what she was supposed to do.  Ummmm....she's only 8 months old.....and I think the extent of her language capacity is, milk, mama, dada, ball and cat. Nonetheless - I took the teaching opportunity to explain everything.  But really I think I was the one who learned a few lessons. I'll tell you about that later - but first you probably want to know how you can have this amazing mom-baby sensory experience too, right?  Well I won't disappoint.  Here's what you need to do.

First you need to gather your supplies; measuring cups, food colouring, containers for mixing, flour and water (Not shown above; mini canvas/paper, a cheap dollar store shower curtain/paint drop,  a cute baby, a camera, and a whole lot of patience). 

How to make baby friendly paint

Recipe (based on this recipe)
  1. Mix equal parts water and flour (plus a little extra water to get the 'paint' to your desired consistency)
  2. Add as much food colouring, mixed, to your desired colour(s)
Mix together the flour and water in your mixing containers.  I picked up some cheap containers at the dollar store with lids to help with mixing.  I used 1/4 cup of water and 1/4 cup flour for each colour and then shook them up.  I found that after the initial mixing I need to add in a bit more water to thin it out and then I took my little egg whisk to work out the lumps.  Then I added in some drops of food colouring until I was satisfied with the colour.  That's it.  NBD. This pinterest shizz is easy.

But before you start painting - I suggest that you lay out your shower curtain (the cheap one you bought) on the floor and get the painting area set up (especially if you have an active mobile baby like me) *This could also be done in a highchair - it's up to you. I contained mine in the ExerSaucer so I could get everything ready; my camera set, a bath drawn (this will help during clean up trust me) and her painting outfit ready. 

Then let the Painting Games Begin. 

This was my first mistake - just letting her have a free for all with the paint.  The first thing she did was dump the paint and then tried to eat it.  Thankfully it tasted horrible - or at least I think it did - that she never really bothered with trying to eat it after the initial taste (but it's just flour, water, and food colouring - I feel it's baby friendly enough to give it a taste).  After this - I put a little bit of each colour on one of the mini canvas's and showed her with my fingers how to spread it around.  I think at this point Eila thought I was insane - but she went with it (a trait I hope she keeps forever).

After about 10 minutes Eila let me know that she was overstimulated, uncomfortable because the paint was starting to dry, and ready to call it quits (thankfully so was I - maybe this Pinterest Shizz ain't so easy).  But not before one last taste to make sure it was still horrible.

I tossed her in the pre-drawn bath, washed her up, and was happy to see that the paint didn't stain.  I just used cheap food colouring, so I am not sure if food dye would or not.  I think it wore her out because she then proceeded to take an epic 1.5 hour nap that afternoon (for that - I would say we totally nailed this activity).  For Eila that is huge.  And I am thankful so I could clean myself up (because I got covered in paint), 'clean up' and the kitchen and toss out the painting shower curtain, make a coffee and edit the pictures.  All and all it was a successful, but stressful afternoon.

Lessons learned?  Yes!  I'd suggest not trying to do this with an active, mobile baby on your own.  Try to enlist an assistant.  It will make the experience much more enjoyable.  Also if you live somewhere warm (i.e. not Canada) then do this outside, I think we'll try this again one weekend in the summer when Steve is home.  I'll get the hose queued up.

Also I noticed as her masterpiece was drying that it begin flaking off the canvas - luckily I had some Mod Podge leftover from a Christmas craft so I layered on a few coats to preserve it until the end of time. 

To finish our gift off, Eila and I picked up a frame from Target this afternoon, got some prints developed, framed it, and gave Steve our gift this evening (because I was too excited to wait until tomorrow).  Now It's hanging near our front door - to remind me to never, ever try to paint with a baby on my own again - and that I am totally not a Pinterest mom (even if the results were PERFECT).  

What are you waiting for? Get painting with your baby right now and then tell me about it.


  1. I LOVE this idea!! so cute!! I feel like every baby activity takes wayyyy too much effort and lasts 5 minutes.

  2. Um, can I borrow your baby so I can do this?? I love how amazing it turned out!! Great tips to help other moms make it work too.


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