When my baby was a newborn I found out about a company that makes art media for even the smallest of babies. Wee Can Too art supplies are made from all natural food dyes, their products are totally safe even if the end up in baby's mouth, eyes, ect. They make finger paint, chalk, crayons and even egg dyeing kits and those can be purchased here.
If you don't want to purchase the paints from them you can also make your own baby-safe finger paints at home. You can find instructions on how to do that here.
I decided to get a really small canvas proportionate to the size of my little girl. I went to Michael's Craft Store and bought a 4x6inch canvas. They were having a half-off sale on canvases so this one only cost me $2!
The idea is to tape over a portion of the canvas and then let your child paint over the whole thing. When you remove the tape the white parts underneath will be revealed leaving a cool pattern of white amongst your child's colorful paint work. I decided to use stickers instead because this canvas is so small. Your only limit here is your imagination! Pretty much anything you can find that will stick to this will work whether it be address labels, stickers of all shapes like hearts, animals, circles. You could even use letter stickers to spell out a word or your child's name. I decided to go a little more abstract.
I found this old CD label sheet. These are stickers for printing a CD label, and the spine of the case as well. I thought these random pieces would be perfect. So I placed them on the tiny canvas in an asymmetrical way.
I prepared the finger paints as per the instructions (I bought the concentrated powder) and placed each color in a separate corner of my baby's highchair tray. Then I simply popped her in there with a bib on and let her enjoy herself.
Finally, I put the canvas aside to dry while I dunked this baby in a bath and rinsed her high chair off. It took about 2 hours to dry completely.
I decided to wait until the next day to peel the tape off and reveal the final product.
I am totally in love with this piece! I think it's so cute to take a baby's first finger paints and treat it in such a way that it seems like serious art work. I will keep this forever. For the time being, her grandma thought that it deserved to be displayed prominently on our mantle.
TIPS AND TRICKS:
*If your child has sensitive skin or you want to be extra careful, take a very small dot of each color (whether it be store bought or home made) and apply it to the back of your baby's leg. Wait 48 hours to be sure there are no signs of irritation.
*The Wee Can Too paints I bought seemed to wash out of my baby's clothing, however, it's probably a good idea to make sure that your baby is either naked except for a diaper or have them wear something you don't mind getting stained. I also but a bib on my baby.
*Michael's Craft Store usually puts a coupon out every week giving you 40% off on any one item. Use this coupon and you'll get a canvas super cheap!
*For older kids, this can become a teachable moment by talking to them about how primary colors can be mixed with each other to create new colors. This would also be a great follow-up activity to a trip to an art museum, or after looking at art books at the library or book store.