Many people shy away from attempting art with infants for a number of different reasons. The excuses offered most frequently are that an infant will eat the paint, and that it will make too big of a mess.
i won’t argue with the fact that it will probably get messy, but I’m sure that you can tell by now that we believe that you can learn a lot from making a mess. Today I want to tackle that other excuse. Just because infants and toddlers are known for eating nearly everything that they come in to contact with ( age appropriate exploration of their surroundings), does not mean that they need to be kept from certain forms of artistic expression.
There is a large variety of non-toxic paint available, that is perfectly safe for infants and toddler to use, and while ingesting it will never be recommended, it certainly will not harm the child. However,I have always been an advocate for DIY solutions, and many of the following ideas may help you feel more comfortable with the idea that infants explore and learn using all of their senses, even taste.
There are a ton of recipes available for edible paint, look it up on Pinterest, but you don’t need a recipe to help the youngest children explore art and their senses safely, just take a look in your pantry. Any food items that you can add food coloring to can realistically be used as paint. Here are some of our favorites:
Water (think water colors)
baking soda and water or cornstarch and water mixtures
sweetened condensed milk
these are just a few ideas that are perfectly safe for little ones to paint with, and each provides its own, very different sensory experience for their fingers as well. While we encourage you to try out some of these ideas yourself, please remember that food coloring, when used in high concentrations, will stain. We suggest using as little pigment as possible to color your paints, and painting in an area that is okay to get messy, like a high chair or kids table on the patio.