Toddler Led Painting

9:00 AM


Now that my daughter is more interested in messy and creative activities, I decided it was a good time to play with some paint. Opening the kitchen drawers my daughter chose different cooking utensils, cookie cutters, sponge brushes, some of her play utensils and a bath sponge. Yes, all those things are in my kitchen drawer.  This drawer dedicated to whatever my daughter places in it. I once found my slipper in there. 

Laying down a leftover dollar store tablecloth on the floor, helps my daughter visually know her boundaries for the activity we are about to enjoy. We placed all the chosen items on the tablecloth. We poured blue and yellow paint into separate bowls. Placing a piece of white paper inside an empty diaper box helps keep down the mess of all the splashing my daughter will be doing.

I dressed my daughter in an old dress that I did not care if it was painted, once her messy play apron was on it was time for her to play.
I became very impressed with the hand-eye-coordination my daughter displayed. She mixed and swirled the paint. She used a spoon to transfer paint from the bowl to her paper. She used a sponge brush to make painted lines. My daughter even made clean cookie cutter shapes.
Realizing that she could spoon blue paint into the yellow, green was slowly created as she
experienced color mixing. I was in awe at her displaying a great creative independence. As a creative person, I appreciate the small beginnings of wonderment over expressing one's self through a craft. 

Creative activities, like painting, help her brain develop. The right side of her brain is used for emotional and creative responses, while the left side of her brain focuses on analytical processes and logic. Painting benefits my daughter by using both sides of her brain. By stimulating the creative side of her brain, painting helps make the connection between the two sides, which is how we reach our full potential.

Then it happened! Self-expression became so much messier! My daughter realized that the paint felt cool on her skin. She began innocently painting her hands and splashing her legs. As she began giggling and happily splashing, she stops... looks at the sponge brush... looks at me... back at the brush and I knew what was going to happen next was going to be drastic...
My 16-month-old daughter began painting her hair. While saying, "brush...brush...mommy brush". Oh yes she brushed her entire head. I allowed this to continue until the paint began running toward her eyes. She was stripped where she stood and directly in the sink she went. After changing the water twice and finding paint in all crevices my green tinted toddler was cleaned.
I do not know why I am so surprised at how this toddler led painting session turned out the way it did. I mean honestly! What would you do with paint if you were one?


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