Thursday, 2 March 2017

First Art Session With Baby

When M was Little’s age she had started nursery full time. I have this vision that all day long at nursery they are doing new activities focused on child development and the support workers would be constantly interacting with the children to help them learn. From the occasional peeks through the door I know that there was actually a lot of time the babies were just left to play with the toys, so while it may not be that different to home I still feel a pressure to make sure Little doesn’t miss out on the opportunities she would have at nursery. 

A baby making stamps with cut beetroot on a white piece of card on a wipe clean messy mat in blue with small white stars

It’s a little daunting, but also super exciting planning all the activities we can do together as she gets older. One of the things I wanted to try with Little was getting arty. Little is no stranger to paint; she has had her hands and feet painted several times and plonked on a bit of paper, but that has been me using her as a prop instead of her getting to explore the textures and patterns. Now Little is a year old I thought I should finally relax and let her make her own piece of art without my creative direction. 

A baby making stamps with cut beetroot on a white piece of card on a wipe clean messy mat in blue with small white stars. Taken further away than the previous shot so you can see more of the baby.

When planning the first session I had two worries about doing art with a baby: how much mess there would be and how much of the art resources would be eaten. I suspect that she might not enjoy the activity if I'm constantly taking the paint away from her and chasing her with baby wipes. While you can get plenty of non-toxic paints I found inspiration in my fridge in the form of some beetroot. Whenever I cut beetroot up it has lots of lovely pink juice and it is good to eat so it seemed like a good natural ink. I simply scrubbed the outside of the raw beetroot to remove the mud and cut it in half making two circular stamps.

An over head photograph of a baby on a splash mat, wearing a tunic bib and holding a piece of cut beetroot. A white piece of card with pink marks is in front of her

Beetroot is messy, and can stain, but as a natural colouring I find it washes off and it’s not nearly as messy as even washable paint (which never seems to wash that easily). As a precaution I put Little in a tunic and set up the creative station on a wipe cleanable splash mat on the floor (both made from soft oil cloth and sent to us from Messy Me).

Little enjoyed putting the cut beetroot on the paper to make circles. She also enjoyed eating the beetroot and rubbing it in her hair.

A close up of a baby with pink liquid around her mouth, holding a cut juicy beetroot. The baby is wearing a Messy Me tunic Bib which is in blue print with white stars

Afterwards there was very little to clean up. Little’s hands, face and hair were slightly pink, but that wiped off easily and there was nothing to wipe up on the mat. The tunic kept her clothes clean.

A white piece of card with 2 cut pieces of beetroot on placed on top of an oil cloth mat in blue with small white stars.


Verdict on Little's first art session: successful and tasty!

The bib wrapped up in white tissue paper sealed with a sticker with the Messy Me logo on, on top of the folded up messy mat.

**Disclosure: The Messy Tunic Bib and Messy Mat  both in Dusty Blue Mini Stars were sent to us from Messy Me to review. The mat measures 90 x 120 cm so is a great size and the bib is suitable for age 1 to 3 and is secured by velcro at the back. The oil cloth can be wiped clean and even washed on a gentle cool cycle in the washing machine **
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