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Introducing a Paintbrush to your babies and toddlers

We have been doing lots of painting over the months. 
Little N really enjoys exploring paint and in particular loves exploring with her hands. 

Today I set up the paint and put out some paint brushes for her, along with a selection of 4 stampers which when pressed down covered in paint create lovely patterns.

Little N picked up the paint brushes first and explored the bristles with her finger tips before dipping the ends in the colourful paints and mark making on the paper.

She made me smile that without any explanation or demonstration she had the confidence to experiment with the paint brush independently. 
Again this reinforces the importance of allowing children to have the freedom to do things on their own and in their own way.

She used the brush to mix the colours together in the tray. "Mix and mix and mix" she said. 
She reached down and began to assist the mixing with her fingers.

She then used the paintbrush to spread the paint over her hands before clenching her fist together, enjoying the sensation of the paint oozing out her hand.
She then went on to print on the paper.

She asked to paint my hand too, I reached out and gave her my hand. 
I giggled with her and told her how much it was tickling. 
She was amused by this and when she went on to paint her own hand once again and also went on to say how it was tickling her.

When I was preparing this activity I was contemplating beginning it by showing Little N the paint brushes and showing her what to do with them, seeing as we had never used them before.

In the moment however I decided to take the step back and just observe what she decided and wanted to do instead.
This once again, just like the shaving foam activity we did in June 2014 highlighted that we don't always have to lead activities. 
Children can work things out for themselves and not only work things out but with their own minds they can take their activities off into a different direction than sometimes planned and that's what makes activities successful.


- Exploring new equipment
- Confidence to explore independently
- Know that help is available if needed
- Mixing colours
- Fine Motor skills
- Cause and effect
- Using senses 

Extending this activity:

I will be continuing to allow Little N to paint using paint brushes. This will eventually lead to the paining easel being available for play as she wishes. 
To introduce new painting methods.

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Amy Louise
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