Lily has quite the appetite for crayons. Those drawing tools are like crack…she just has to get a taste of that colored wax.
Like an addict she has become pretty good at sneaking her nibbles. If we are eating out she starts to doodle and right when I open my menu and look down she takes a quick taste. To keep her from adding art to my walls or furniture I put her in her highchair to color while I sit right next to her with my hawk eyes. Yesterday she threw the purple crayon to the floor and as I bent down to retrieve she quickly slipped the red crayon in her mouth for a quick fix. She is so sneaky.
I understand that babies use their sense of taste to explore their surroundings but when does it ever end?? By the way crayons are pretty impossible to clean out of molars when your toddler fights you on brushing their teeth. Most of the time I put an extra heaping of children’s toothpaste and let Lily suck and chew down on her brush. Her bristles always change color and after a few washes when her brush no longer turns red or blue, I know I was successful at removing the crayon.
To keep the mess down I keep her in her highchair and she doesn’t seem to mind. I let her skim over the pages, pick out what Sesame Street or Disney character she wants to paint and then provide her with a brush (btw most water coloring books come with a brush) and small snack cup with water.
The first few times I learned not to fill up the cup with too much water. Majority of the time she gets a kick out of dipping her brush in and out of the water over and over. The brush dipping always veers to finger dipping that always ends in pouring the water out. This always ends with her tiny palms splashing around in the water…a main reason why I keep her in the highchair! I don’t mind this at all…it’s just water! But to keep her focused on painting I give her around a teaspoon of water at a time.
I could sit and watch her concentrate on coloring forever. Love these moments where she is so focused. Really thinking about what she’s doing. I found her water color books at Target. Cheap good old-fashioned fun while getting her creative juices flowing.
Another option is finger painting. I purchased some at Joann’s a long time ago and let her go crazy outside on a old bed sheet. She loves every second of it. She ends up using her belly and face as a canvas and we’re happy to oblige. We saved that first painting in a frame and it sits in our family room.
This week I let her try finger painting again…this time I made some paint from instant pudding mix so she could have a blast eating it. For a simple DIY finger paint make a batch of instant vanilla pudding. Separate the pudding into small containers and mix in drops of food coloring. I spooned a little of each color into smaller containers for her to paint with. The remaining colored pudding stayed in their containers and placed in the fridge until the next color session.