Safe Arts & Crafts for Babies

Updated on May 12, 2012
K.G. asks from Los Angeles, CA
11 answers

Looking for fun, safe arts & crafts ideas for our 8 month old. Just a little something to start tapping into her artistic side. Everything she plays with goes in her mouth. I've seen non toxic finger paints in stores but of course they're not going to say it's edible. Any creative ideas? One friend suggested crayons as the least harmful? Pudding? Or just good old finger paints under close supervision? Thanks!

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answers from Santa Barbara on

I like the pudding finger paints, I would use sugar free and just anticipate there will be more eating than painting. What about water colors made from food coloring? Also, they make the big chunky crayons for little fingers.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

HI K., Paints and crayons are a bit advanced for a 8 month old. If you want to try arts and crafts try exploring textures, colors and music/movement. Playing with felt shapes, playdough, moonsand, exploring different types of muisc from classical to rock, and enjoying age appropriate toys (blocks, letters, rings, dolls, etc) is great for any child. Don't worry about 'tapping into her artistic side' until she is a bit older and can hold/manipulate paints, crayons etc. Let her be a baby a bit longer...they grow up quicker than you think!! Best wishes.

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answers from New York on

Your baby is too young for the pudding painting because she is too young to eat sugar, chocolate, and other flavorings in pudding. The sugar free puddings have artificial sweeteners in them - I never let my kids (now 10 and 14) have artificial sweeteners all, I certainly wouldn't give them to an infant. Babies can chow down on crayons too. I think it's great to do creative things with children, but I feel that an infant is really too young for crafts. Tapping into the creative side is good - get her some musical instrument toys, play music and dance together and I would suggest leaving the coloring and painting til she's a bit older.

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answers from Santa Barbara on

I like the pudding finger paints, I would use sugar free and just anticipate there will be more eating than painting. What about water colors made from food coloring? Also, they make the big chunky crayons for little fingers.


answers from Provo on

I like the pudding idea. I think I'm going to do that once my son is a smidgen bit older.


answers from New York on

You can always put a little food coloring in pudding, yogurt or apple sauce. For when she is lots older my preschool age son loves finger paint and shaving cream mixed.



answers from San Diego on

For edible/non-toxic paints, your best bet is actually a sex store.

We did shaving cream on mirrors (tastes awful, so it doesn't get eaten). Whipped cream would work as well.



answers from Albuquerque on

I agree about her being a little young. I let my girl start using crayons (with very close supervision) at 1 year old--and she still tried to chew on them. Now that she is 16 months, she knows how to use them (and only at her desk--not on the walls or furniture) and also finger paints and sidewalk chalk. From now (8 months) until she's a little more responsive to the direction "not in your mouth," I'd stick with paper and dry things--let her flip through magazines, tear out pages, wad them up, match colors of construction paper pieces, help her glue (you do the dots of glue) cottonballs to paper, make paper plate masks or paperbag puppets. "Tapping into her artistic side" doesn't just have to include making things, it could also be learning about colors and textures (read & touch books, go to the library or a kid-friendly museum), building something for her out of a cardboard box (cut out windows), etc.

Finally, my girl is in daycare and they make tons of art projects (I don't have the patience for some of the things they sit down and do with TEN kids). I hang up *almost* everything she makes in her room (out of reach). I want her to see all the awesome things that she's made and know that I am proud of what she's done! Keep that in mind when you and your girl do start making things--don't ever let her see you throw them away!

Oh, and I never liked the idea of playing with pudding or other edible things because I didn't want my girl to learn that it's okay to "play with her food"!!

Good luck and just have fun!



answers from Raleigh on

Great Earth Day Projects Posted Today! These are super inexpensive and great, our site also has some other activities you might be interested in. Next month we are featuring monster finger puppets and peanut butter play dough!


answers from St. Louis on

What about letting him paint with plain ole baby food? You can put dye in it if you want to - use whatever kinds you want. I know that Gerber has some 'yogurt' that are safe for children under 12 months.

Shaving cream is a good idea - but I like the whip cream idea better!

If your baby takes a binky, give her that when you give her something you don't want to go into her mouth.

Look into making homemade play-do - I thought that I'd seen some edible kinds.

What about making gak? Messy but not so worrysome as it's cornstarch and water.

I love the pudding painting idea...I honestly wouldn't worry if my son ate a 'lttle' bit but 8 months is a bit young for a lot!

Chalk? Under supervision of course.

Use her foot and handprints dipped in paint (you can do this yourself) to not only capture the size of hand/feet but also to make different pictures (my son's class made a turkey where his foot was the body and toes were the 'feathers'.

Blow bubbles with her.

What about cutting up various fruits and sit her on some paper and let her eat the foods (try them) and maybe play with them and get the juices over the page?



answers from Kansas City on

There is such a variety of crayons that can very much be used by even an eight month old. My son was diagnosed with cerebral palsy so I seeked to find things for his age very early. One suggestion is checking into the resources that are geared toward special needs children, so many of the baby to toddler selections have the safety seal of approval and can also give ideas as far as product that you can find "just wouldn't have thought of", arts and building creative intelect I feel are so important. It gives our young ones a since of accomplishment. The crayons I started with were "fingertip, large enough to not be a choking hazord and durable to not break". Another neat idea I stumbled across was, BINGO MARKERS, yes the ink filled blotters used in bingo. There is such a range of colors, they can not only just be blotted dots but can color around like a marker. As with any project of course guidence is needed. GLUE, non-toxic elmers, consider all the kids who eat it and I've yet to hear of a child being harmed. With paper let her apply the glue and now Crayola even has their own brand of sand, "which I prefer" and use it like glitter "which I don't recommend just yet". The after is a textured work of art. The simple magnet erase boards, usually with pen attached are great in getting the fine motor skills started that will help in the next steps to come. Another artistic outlet to consider is adding it in with bath time, there are crayons, markers, you name it all for the tub. "Crayola brand" is my recommendation. I could go on and on but lastly, magnets, make sure they are large enough to not be choking hazord, at many craft stores you can find actual sheets of magnets, you can use adhesive and apply different colors, to shapes you cut out and then let them create a design, or own unique picture on the fridge .....even though some of these art progects are ones you can put up and save forever, the pictures you take of them can be and downloaded to disk not only for your own keep sake but to share with family also. Have fun on this journey and have a wonderful Mother's Day! (checked and our Bingo markers are non-toxic too!)

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