J’s first experience with true finger painting was at 16 months at a cousin’s birthday party. My sister-in-law actually had a great idea, she taped a piece of art paper onto an outside fence. She had them labelled, one for each child attending the party and a paper plate with finger paint set out by each outdoor easel.
If it had not been for the party, finger painting would have waited until he was older. Dad was supervising close by (to keep the paint on the paper and not in the mouth). We did still end up with fingerpaint all over his nice shorts, but fortunately it did all wash out.
**I found this picture a little funny. It looks like my 16 month old is an artistic prodegy!! If truth be told, Dad (hiding from the camera) got a head start on the finger painting. J is just about to add his personal touch to Daddy’s tree.
Age attempted: 16 months
Try Again? Of course, but not until he’s older (since it is messy!)
This was one of the first “games” J ever played.
I brought a flashlight, plastic cup, and 10 puff balls (or whatever you call those crafty fuzzy falls!) into his room. I “hid” (in plain sight) the balls throughout his room, we turned out the light and used the flashlight to try and find them. As we found them, he would put them in his cup. So simple and such a winner! It took almost 20 minutes to get all the balls in his cup. He kept accidentally dropping one (or more) out of the cup while reaching for another one. He would bend down, pick up the ball (while the last one fell out of the cup), put the ball inside the cup then look down and see ANOTHER ball right there too! Or he would manage to get 5 or 6 balls in the cup, bend down to pick up the 7th, put it in his empty cup, turn around and find 6 more right there behind him.
When he finally finished, he was happy to play again and again.
My basic teaching goal going into this was to encourage him to finish what he started. To me that’s the requirement of a “game”. You’re given a task, told what is required to win and you play until the win/end is achieved. True, he had no competition in this game (unless you count the sneaky cup that just kept tossing out all those balls!), but at his age the task itself is competition enough.
Age? 16 months
Try Again? Yes; I did this again a few times. I do think there’s a point it loses it’s luster. But now (at 21 months) he could probably better manipulate the flashlight and find the “dark” aspect more interesting.