Monday, October 8, 2012

Finger Painting

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Erik was bored the other day and we needed something to do, so I decided to try something new. I have some finger paints left over from a project we did a while back and I decided to get really brave and give them a try. We have a very small area of no carpet in our apartment, and Erik still likes to taste just about everything, so I had visions of this not turning out too well.
We started by taping a large piece of plain wrapping paper (purchased at the dollar store) to the floor as far from walls and carpet as possible (which is not too far in our case, unfortunately!).
Next, I plunked Erik down in the middle of that paper (stripped to his diaper of course), put a few squirts of paint around him, and let him figure it out from there.
As he smeared the paint all over, I'd add a little bit more here and there. He had a blast, especially when he discovered the joy of painting himself. He never did try to eat the paint, so at least I didn't have to worry about that!
 I let him paint until he got restless, and then I picked him up and hauled him straight to the bathtub for a good scrub. He thought this was WAY fun, AND now I have some fun, custom decorated wrapping paper for a shamefully overdue birthday present for someone.
 I love the places where you can see his little fingers and toes. They're just so cute!
Erik did manage to get a little bit of paint on both the wall and the carpet. I was sure I was doomed. I grabbed some stain remover (you know, the kind you use on your laundry) and went to work. Except it wasn't work. This stuff just came right out without leaving a trace. I hadn't planned to say what brand I used or anything like that, but I was really impressed that these just rinsed right out. So, I don't know what kind of paint you use, but I am now converted to Crayola. (update 1/12/15, We still love these paints and use them often, here's where you can get some too.)
In addition to keeping a bored boy busy for a minute, this activity also helped Erik work on his hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills. It gave him a great sensory experience while also allowing him to create something of his very own. 
Is there anything I'd change for next time? Well, had I really thought this through I'd have realized that after we were done painting I'd have to carry a paint covered boy to the bathtub (while also covered in paint myself). Next time I will have the bathroom all prepped and ready to go, unlike this time when I had to figure out how to hold Erik (finger paint is VERY slippery on a naked baby) while I opened the door. Then I had to clear all his toys out of the bathtub so they didn't get painted. Let's just say I had to do a little more cleaning of paint off of walls and doors than I wanted to do. Next time I won't make that same mistake again!

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