When I sawÂ Activity #6, Paint Your Baby’s Feet, I knew I could put my own spin on this for my husband’s birthday card this year and have my son, Eli, make it.
A little backstory: When we were dating, my husband and I were pretty big gift givers. Everything from skydiving to sleigh rides and even diamond earrings, we both went all out when it came to birthdays, Christmas and the sacred dating anniversary. After we got married and started sharing a bank account, those extravagant gifts quickly fell by the wayside, not because we didn’t want to give the other person special things, but because the other person didn’t want to receive them any more. I’ll never forget the time I purchased a dog sledding experience for my outdoorsy, animal-loving husband, and he sheepishly (and kindly) asked me to return it.
OUCH. But I understood. Because just the year prior, I had asked for a “no-frills” birthday – we we were DINKS (If you haven’t heard that before, that’s Dual Income, No Kids) and generally purchased anything we really wanted whether it was our birthday or not, so I wasn’t in need of anything, and a dinner out spending quality time with my husband was gift enough for me. (My how things change when becoming a self-sufficient adult!)
One of the other things that has fallen to the wayside in the name of saving money is purchasing cards. I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather spend my $4.00 on a fully-loaded latte than on a piece of paper. We still write cards for each occasion, but typically they’re homemade.
What we did: I started out by completely covering Eli’s high chair in plastic. We have the Ikea Antilop high chair,(Amazing for only $25!) and while it’s completely wipeable, I wasn’t sure how it would hold up to paint. I also decided to switch him from his usual cloth diapers into a disposable, and it’s a good thing I did – because this activity is messy – awesome – but messy.
To try to control the amount of paint he played with, I took a paper plate with a bunch of paint on it and dipped his hands into it, then let him play. At first, he really didn’t care about the paper, he just wanted to stare at his hand. Please notice the crossed-eyes below. His eyes were stuck like that while he turned his hand around and around for a good five minutes.
Eventually, I took his hands and showed him how he could “paint” the paper and he took interest in seeing the colors transfer from his hands to the paper, and the plastic, and his body, and of course, his mouth.
To keep it simple, I just chose two colors, blue and red, and I tried to let the blue dry a bit before I let him move on to the red, just so things wouldn’t turn too brown.
Before he started painting, I cut out a couple pieces of cardstock to 8.5” x 5.5” and folded them in half to look like cards, and I kept a handful of additional 8”x10” sheets on hand so he could make a few pieces of art for us to hang on a chalkboard wall we have in our house.
Here are a few of his masterpieces.
I’m hoping these will be worth billions of dollars someday when Eli grows up to be a master artist. You never know!
[Photo credit: Laura Wifler — all rights reserved]
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