I would say over the past few years, I experienced a desire to unearth a love for art that's been pretty dormant. To me, art was something I spent a few hours a week doing in elementary school. I'm sure I enjoyed it in my early childhood, but I don't remember thinking I was particularly great at it.
Thanks to the internet, Pinterest in particular, and a number of blogs, I found inspiration; not only for myself, but for Gabby. Our first real experience with an art activity was finger painting. I was fortunate enough to capture a few photos before she was "over it."
We invited one of her play group friends over and I set up for the big event. I dreamed that she would take to it a duck takes to water, but I would say she was into it for about 1 minute. Regardless, it was fun to try and I know we will revisit it as her interest in painting and drawing grows.
Tumultuous Revelations of Juvenile Contemplations by Gabrielle G. Bailey
***Product Review for Crayola Washable Finger Paints.
The colors are pretty dull, but again, these are paints meant for younger kids, so I'm sure a lot of properties are sacrificed to make them non-toxic and washable. Once she's older, I plan to invest in some Bicolor Paint as they seem pretty vibrant and well reviewed. The paint did dry pretty quickly and overall, I'm happy with them as they served their purpose adequately.***
Over the past week, Gabby really developed an interest in coloring. I tried Crayola First Scribbled Egg Crayons about a month ago and she couldn't really get the pressure enough on these to really color. She didn't seem very interested in anything other than eating them. She has, however, enjoyed using her Jumbo Crayola Crayons. She actually grabbed them out of my little art box and started laughing like a little, adorable weirdo.
First thing in the morning, she enjoys when I use painter's tape to affix some cardstock to her high chair and let her color away. I always write her name on the paper and we practice identifying the letters. I usually draw some shapes on the page for her to color and practice learning to identify them. Also, we go over the colors she is using and she seems to be picking up very quickly. I'm surprised that she understands to color with the point-side down and has only tried to eat them a handful of times. As you can see from the video below, she really enjoys it!
ART! It's a great way to learn that life isn't about perfection, but doing your best, trying new things, and being happy with the journey and not the final destination. Cliched and cheesy, yes....but, I truly believe it. I plan to scan or photograph her little masterpieces throughout her early school years and create a photo book using this template or something similar. What a great gift to give Gabby one day when she's old enough to really enjoy seeing moments long forgotten.
UPDATE: We recently assembled this Crayola easel that we purchased for a great deal around Christmas last year. I love it! I also downsized crayons from the jumbo crayons to the Crayola large crayons. They came with two broken tips and I guess it's just a matter of sharpening them. As for how washable they are, I haven't given it a go yet. Since this is where she primarily colors now, I just leave the old crayon marks there. I usually let her color on a piece of white cardstock that I turn into a card or run though the printer with some fun quote or image. They make for great mail and a cool way to take one of her many scribbles and turn it into something fun.