When I first became a mom, I found it challenging to find activities that both my baby and I could enjoy together. Making art with his footprints was my solution. Early on, before he started to come up with ways to amuse himself, I felt some pressure that I needed to entertain him all the time. But, to be honest, sometimes (or often!) I got a little bored. There just isn’t a lot that a tiny baby can do and there feels like even less we can do together.
Fortunately, there are many baby toys these days. And, thanks to the internet, there are so many ideas out there for activities to do with your baby. There are hundreds of links out there, but I have to confess something: I found a lot of baby toys and suggested activities a little dull.
Most of the suggestions were for my baby, not for me.
I love my son, and I really loved to see him laugh while playing peekaboo or engaged in a sing-along at the library. I was extremely excited when my son reached each new development milestone, such as following a ball dropping with his eyes. But, at the same time, most of those activities were for him, not for me.
So, I came up with some ideas that entertained me, too.
Of all the things I tried, my favorite was creating paint footprint art with him. (It also helped that it was extremely easy to do, and gave me some art with which to decorate the fridge or his room)!
Things you need:
- Tempera paint (blue, red, yellow and white are just enough)
- Diaper wipes (Very important!)
- Brush (optional)
- Paper plate (optional)
- Shopping paper bags or sheets to protect the floor and/or table
I really recommend Tri-art tempera which is non-toxic, washable, “wipe-off-able,” and very dense. It makes a clear trace of your baby’s foot. And, this paint lasts forever. I bought four bottles (four colors) four years ago, and we are still using them.
We bought only primary colors and white. From the beginning, he saw me combining colors to make others. He had so much fun learning about the different combinations that even when I gave him pink paint for the first time, he didn’t use it! Instead, he insisted on creating his own, unique pink from scratch.
What to do:
- Find ideas on Pinterest. Just type in “footprint crafts.” Even if you have a particular object that you want to create using footprints and you cannot find an example on Pinterest, try searching on Google. For example, if you search for “shrimp illustration” and use a little creativity you can probably find some part of the illustration that could be created on paper using a baby’s footprint. I sometimes wrote a footprint picture diary. For example, when he pooped on the potty, I drew a toilet using his footprint.
- Prepare your favorite color on a plate and then place your baby’s foot on it (or just paint on the bottom of your baby’s foot directly).
- Stamp your baby’s foot on the paper.
- Wipe the paint off your baby’s foot.
- Draw (or paint!) additional parts of the desired image as necessary.
This is my first baby art using my son’s foot. I put two different color paints on a sheet of paper and then rotated him. At that time he could not even stand by himself. It was like I painted with my baby as a brush!
I also sometimes organized “footprint playdates.” This was an easy way to invite your new parent friends over without getting too worried if we would not have common interests to talk about etc. Whatever you do, it’s important that you and your little one do them together. The more time you spend creating footprint art together, the more fun you’ll have.