Toddler Canvas Painting

I inherited my love of art from my mom, even though she passed away of breast cancer just before I turned 5. I have a degree in studio art and make a living doing web and graphic design. Art is something I definitely want Jax to grow up surrounded by!

Jax is 16-months-old and I decided we’d start painting on a canvas every month or so. I have extras in my stock pile and craft stores are always giving out 50% off coupons. It was a hot day, so I chose to try painting instead of taking our after-lunch walk.

Here’s what we did:
I laid out an old sheet in the backyard. Beside it I had our clean up supplies ready to go: a plastic bin of water, paper towels and an old towel. I put the canvas down on the sheet with 4 paper plates of non-toxic paints and some kid-friendly brushes. I dressed Jax in nothing but a disposable diaper. He has a major belly button fetish right now, so I knew his tummy would be covered in paint!

To start him off, I handed him a brush dipped in paint and aimed him towards the canvas. He took to it right away and had a blast! I had to remind him not to put the paint brushes in his mouth, but he didn’t try to eat the paint. However, he did hear me say “brush” and tried to brush his hair with green paint. Oops!

At this stage, I’m still offering him the paint and showing him how to make hand prints and spatter marks. I think it will be fun to see how he progresses each month. Eventually he will be choosing his own colors and techniques.

When we were all done, I let him splash his hands and feet in the bin of water while I washed the paint off him with a wet paper towel. The diaper was so paint-covered it was nearly modern art itself, but we tossed it. And headed inside with Jax snuggled in his towel.

His painting is now hanging in his new playroom art gallery. I’ll show you all the cuteness in an upcoming post!

The finished painting!

Have any of you done arts and crafts with young toddlers? What was your experience like?

3 thoughts on “Toddler Canvas Painting

  1. robyne

    Wow i wish i could paint with my daughter, she two but still puts EVERYTHING that is not food in her mouth. The brushes would be toast in two seconds flat.
    I had to go get the crayola twistable crayons just so she could’t eat the whole crayon. She loves to draw but it only goes so far before they get eaten and I’ve gotten the organic non toxic finger pants and just got her naked and papered the whole deck, she painted tasted and rolled all around. She made some pretty sweet rainbow bum prints!
    I ‘ve been told repeatedly my many moms now that little boys don’t seem to be as fixated on chewing and eating non food items as little girls. I mean they all go through that stage but it seem girls go at it longer. Feel blessed you don”t have a book eater, playdough hog or crayon gnawer!

    1. Stephanie Post author

      I want to try making finger paints this summer!

      We are lucky Jax doesn’t put much in his mouth… He did when he was younger so we started saying/signing “dirty” for anything he was allowed to hold but not put in his mouth. He has gotten really good at stopping short when we say that. He got some paint on his lips when he touched his mouth, but he was good otherwise!

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