Evidently, a one year and two-months-old child doesn’t have the appropriate motor skills and coordination to create detailed pieces of art – such as straight lines or perfect circles, for example – or anything with meaning. However, playing around with paints and crayons during this age is a great tool to stimulate imagination, cognitive skills and sensory and motor skills.
Some artistic activities, of course, require around-the-clock supervision, but also some precautions. Ideally, if you introduce crayons to your child, you should opt for the “jumbo” sized ones, which have an anatomic shape. You can put the child sitting down in the living room floor surrounded by several sheets of paper or you can sit down at a table, with the child on your lap. Usually, this kind of crayon isn’t toxic, but you should teach them not to put it in their mouth. A good alternative is to melt several kinds of crayons and form a ball, which the child will love to hold and observe what it can do on a white piece of paper. At a toy store and/or baby supply store, you can find specific crayons that can be used on tiles, which can make bath time a whole lot more fun – place the baby tub closer to the wall and let them go to town. When it comes to paint, usually manufacturers don’t recommend gouache paint for children younger than 3 years of age. But, you can make paint at home – and the best part is it’s edible! One idea is to buy different colored boxes of Jell-O powder, place each powder in a different container and add a little bit of boiling water. As you mix it up, watch as it gains the texture similar to that of gooey paint. After it cools off, all you have to do is sit on the floor – carefully covering the floor to make clean-up easier – and let your child have fun using their own hands. Another suggestion to preparing homemade paint is to add food dye to plain yogurt. The best part is the child can take their hands to their mouths, without worries!