Art activities for infants provide little learners the opportunity to explore, discover, and manipulate their worlds. Young children use art as a way pathway to discovery, so craft ideas for infants should also be open-ended. As an adult, your role is to provide the vehicle for discovery using interesting materials, and then to sit back and watch closely.
Sometimes the art process can be sensory, such as feeling slippery paint on bare fingers or tearing pages from old magazines. The activity “Tear It Up!” from The Encyclopedia of Infant and Toddler Activities allows for a sensory experience by encouraging children to touch and tear all different kinds of paper such as tissue paper, wax paper, or paper towels. Provide the children with glue and sturdy pieces of cardboard and encourage them to use their torn pieces of paper to create unique, colorful collages. Talk with children throughout the process about the colors of the paper and the sensations they feel as they touch each type of paper. In doing so, you are encouraging their language development.
Collecting and saving materials to use for a collage is a fun infant art project for everyone. The summer is the perfect time to explore outside with your baby. Take a basket outside and place objects you find in the basket. Look for leaves, twigs, blades of grass, and wildflowers. Talking about each item with your little one will help develop vocabulary. Toddlers love taking the items collected and gluing them to cardboard to make a nature collage.
Infant art projects are just another way for babies to form loving attachment to adults and for adults to explore alongside little ones. Encourage the babies in your care to explore and experience their environment and they will be prepared for learning throughout their lives.